Growth short of expectation
The economy is set to grow slightly less than expected this year, the minister of finance said yesterday, in another setback for President Francois Hollande as he weighs a re-election bid. Minister of Finance Michel Sapin said on Europe 1 radio that economic growth of 1.4 percent was “the figure we are working on for this year as an assumption.” Previous forecasts were for 1.5 percent growth for this year. It follows data earlier this week showing unemployment rates increased slightly in the third quarter, as the nation gears up for presidential elections next year.
Mexico raises interest rate
Mexico’s central bank on Thursday decided to raise its interbank interest rate by one-half point to 5.25 percent, citing “a more complex world economic panorama caused by, among other things, the US elections.” The decision was the second time in as many months the Bank of Mexico has raised the rate. In September, it raised the rate a half-point to 4.75 percent, seeking to shore up a weak peso.
Massive job losses reported
About 130,000 people lost their jobs from January to September amid a recession, the government said on Thursday. Companies reported a total of 127,595 job cuts — a 1.5 percent fall in employment overall — the Federal Public Revenues Administration said. Just less than 8 million of the country’s 41 million people were formally employed. President Mauricio Macri has introduced spending cuts and tariff hikes.
Tesla to buy SolarCity
Tesla Motors Inc on Thursday said that shareholders approved a plan to buy “renewable” energy company SolarCity Corp in an overwhelming endorsement of a plan outlined by founder Elon Musk. Not counting votes by Musk, who holds stakes in both companies, more than 85 percent of shareholder votes were cast in favor of the acquisition, according to a statement by Tesla. The deal, valued at US$2.6 billion, is expected to be completed in a matter of days, it said. Tesla has painted the controversial plan as a financially smart move that comes with the benefit of helping protect the planet. Combining the companies would have “significant financial benefits,” the company said.
Clothing sales boost market
Retail sales in the UK rebounded sharply last month on strong clothing demand, official data showed on Thursday. Sales by volume jumped by 1.9 percent in October compared with September, the UK Office for National Statistics said in a statement. That easily outstripped market expectations for an increase of 0.5 percent. Analysts said the impact of Britain’s shock EU exit referendum, held on June 23, had been muted on the high street.
Wal-Mart revenues down
A fall in international sales income for retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc held down total revenues and hit profits in the three months to Oct. 31, the company reported on Thursday. While sales in its main US market rose 2.5 percent over the year-ago quarter, to US$74.6 billion, international sales slumped 4.8 percent to US$28.4 billion. Nevertheless, overall domestic and international revenues from sales and other sources rose a tepid 0.7 percent over a year ago. Net profits fell 8.2 percent year on year to US$3 billion, or US$0.98 a share.
Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is expected to remain the third-largest IC supplier this year, unchanged from last year, IC Insights said yesterday. IC designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科) is expected to become the 11th-largest, up from 16th last year, the semiconductor market research firm said. TSMC is expected to post US$45.42 billion in sales, up 31 percent from last year, IC Insights said in a report released on its Web site. TSMC’s sales growth is largely due to a surge in orders from Apple Inc and HiSilicon Technologies Co (海思半導體) — two of its major clients — which
SETTING AN EXAMPLE: The commission suspended the bank’s two top executives as ‘a warning to all banks,’ while the fine is the biggest to be given to a bank in a single case The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined E.Sun Commercial Bank (玉山銀行) NT$20 million (US$693,698) over a theft scandal and punished the bank’s two top executives. A customer relationship manager surnamed Pan (潘) at the bank’s branch in Kaohsiung’s Fengshan District (鳳山) stole NT$140 million from 41 clients over the past seven years, the commission said. Pan secretly transferred the stolen money to accounts belonging to her and her family members by using clients’ debit cards, passwords or documents that were stamped using the clients’ personal stamps between July 2013 and June this year, the commission said. The commission suspended Ben Chen (陳炳良), the
With the speed cryptocurrency is emerging as the millennial generation’s alternative asset of choice in India, it is hard to imagine that just two years ago a couple of blockchain pioneers were briefly in police custody. Sathvik Vishwanath and Harish BV, cofounders of a then five-year-old start-up, were arrested in late 2018. No, they had not pulled off a shady initial coin offering. Their “crime” was that they put up a kiosk in a mall in Bangalore where customers could swap bitcoin, ether or ripple for cash or vice versa. That was the whole point of unocoin, their crypto token exchange.
BREATH OF LIFE: The firm said the under-utilized plant should start mass production in the first quarter, timed to coincide with Intel Corp’s release of its Ice Lake server chip Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) plans to assemble key components for Google servers at its plant in Wisconsin, people familiar with the matter said, finally breathing life into a factory that US President Donald Trump hailed as crucial to bringing manufacturing back to the US. The company has decided to locate production for this new contract at the existing complex rather than make the components at home or in China, the people said, asking not to be identified. The under-utilized plant should start mass production in the first quarter, timed with the release of Intel Corp’s Ice Lake server chips,