Record online holiday sales
Nearly 136 million shoppers are expected to flock to US sales over the four-day Black Friday holiday weekend, both in stores and online, the National Retail Federation said. “Reports of long lines outside stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday were matched by reports of record-breaking online sales,” federation president and chief executive Matthew Shay said on Friday. The federation estimates that 135.8 million people would be shopping over the weekend, a 1.6 percent increase from last year.
Banker avoids Swiss prison
Herve Falciani, a former bank employee who took client data from HSBC Holdings PLC’s Geneva unit, was found guilty of corporate espionage and given a five-year prison sentence by a Swiss court in absentia, making it unlikely he will ever spend time inside a prison in the country. The Frenchman stayed out of Switzerland during the trial to avoid the risk of arrest, preferring to stay in France, a country which does not extradite its citizens. The decision was read out on Friday at the Federal Criminal Court by Judge David Glassey, who criticized the lengths that Falciani went to in his attempts to profit from the data.
Dutch to sell ASR in IPO
The Dutch government is planning to sell off state-owned insurance company ASR, Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Friday. One of the largest insurers in the Netherlands, the company was created out of the break-up of the Belgian-Dutch Fortis group in the 2008 economic crisis and acquired for 3.65 billion euros (US$3.87 billion) by the Dutch state. The government is eyeing an initial public offering for ASR on the Amsterdam stock exchange, Dijsselbloem said.
German confidence slumps
A closely watched survey shows German consumers are losing confidence amid growing concerns of an economic slump. The GfK research group said on Friday its forward-looking consumer climate index dropped for the fourth month in a row to 9.3 points for next month, from 9.4 this month. GfK says consumers’ willingness to buy rose, but that was offset by drops in both their income and economic expectations.
UK’s growth slowed in Q3
The UK’s economic growth slowed in the third quarter, official data confirmed on Friday. GDP expanded by 0.5 percent between July and September, the Office for National Statistics said in a second estimate, in line with market expectations. That was unchanged from the initial estimate and followed second-quarter growth of 0.7 percent.
Greek economy shrank more
The Greek state statistics agency on Friday drastically revised downwards the economy’s third-quarter contraction to 0.9 percent, from 0.5 percent previously. “These differences are on account of using new data, not available at the time of the flash estimate,” the ELSTAT agency said, citing a mixture of September balance of payments data, service turnover and jobless figures as factors for the downturn. Greek output fell by 1.1 percent from the third quarter of last year, Elstat said.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported that revenue last month expanded 25 percent annually, but fell 12.8 percent month-on-month to NT$105.96 billion (US$3.59 billion). In the first seven months of this year, the chipmaker’s revenue surged 33.6 percent to NT$727.26 billion, compared with NT$544.46 billion a year earlier. TSMC has said it aims to grow its revenue by more than 20 percent this year. The company has since May 15 stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies Co (華為), its second-biggest customer after Apple Inc, due to the US’ restrictions on exports containing US technologies. TSMC has no plans to
The US stock market has been on a tear, yet the country’s economy is in the dumps. So why do so many people believe — undoubtedly incorrectly — that the stock market has decoupled from reality? The economy many people experience, while bleak, is local, personal and, for the most part, either not publicly traded or plays only a small part in the stock market’s moves. To explain why these personal experiences have so little effect on equity markets, we must look more closely at the market role of the weakest industry sectors. The surprising conclusion: The most visible and economically vulnerable