Baby formula recall doubled
French baby-milk maker Lactalis Group yesterday said it was more than doubling the quantity of formula and other products recalled over salmonella fears in the second such move in two weeks. The latest recall involves 720 batches of products sold in France and overseas and follows an initial recall of 625 batches, or nearly 7,000 tonnes of products, on Sunday last week. The new recall concerned powders and infant cereals of the group’s Picot and Milumel brands, as well as the Taranis powdered amino-acid mix, the company said.
Building rebound boosts GDP
The economy grew 0.6 percent in the third quarter thanks to a rebound in construction, official data released yesterday showed. The rise in quarterly GDP was in line with market expectations, taking annual growth to 3.0 percent. Construction jumped 3.6 percent over the quarter, while service industries rose 0.6 percent, with health and residential care leading the way. Primary industries fell 0.4 percent, partly because wet weather lowered milk production, Statistics New Zealand said.
Inflation target unchanged
The Bank of Japan yesterday opted to keep its ultra-lax monetary policy unchanged, saying rising private consumption, exports and business investment were signs that a moderate recovery has taken hold. In a policy statement, the central bank said it is committed to its nearly five-year-old 2 percent inflation target, but deemed inflation expectations to be in a “weakening phase.” It forecast that inflation would likely gradually rise thanks to tightening capacity. The central bank kept its key policy rate at minus-0.1 percent.
Fitch grants rating upgrade
The nation won a second rating upgrade this year, with Fitch Ratings raising its assessment to one step above investment grade, months after S&P Global Ratings lifted the nation out of “junk” status. The rating on the nation’s long-term, foreign currency-denominated debt was raised one level to “BBB” with a stable outlook, Fitch said in a statement yesterday. The upgrade puts Indonesia on a par with the Philippines, which received an upgrade just this month. Fitch cited rising foreign-exchange reserves, the focus on macro stability and strong economic growth as drivers of the upgrade.
Reforms bring IMF funds
The IMF on Wednesday approved the third installment of a US$12 billion, three-year loan for Egypt, bringing the total released to date to just more than US$6 billion. The IMF board approved the latest US$2 billion disbursement under the deal signed in November last year, after a fund team last month praised Cairo’s progress on “bold” economic reforms. The IMF said Egypt’s economy is expected to grow 4.2 percent this year and the inflation rate is expected to fall to 13 percent by the end of next year.
Broker allows bitcoin trades
E-Trade Financial Corp said it plans to allow customers to trade bitcoin futures from Cboe Global Markets Inc, joining competitors including CME Group Inc in offering the contracts after monitoring their debut earlier this month. Cboe futures are “now available,” the New York-based online brokerage wrote on its Web site late on Wednesday. A spokesman confirmed the move.
RESTRUCTURING: Taichung and Taoyuan profited most from local firms moving back high-end manufacturing amid the US-China decoupling of trade ties, the ministry said The government’s “Invest in Taiwan” initiative might this year see NT$627.1 billion (US$21.7 billion) of investment pledges realized, with several firms raising stakes and two dropouts due to customer losses, Minister of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday. Wang made the statement at the monthly meeting of the Third Wednesday Club, a local trade group featuring the top 100 firms of each business sector. Since early last year, the government has launched three programs intended to help local companies grapple with US-China trade rows and the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly through moving production lines back to Taiwan. Thus far, the ministry
JOBS AT RISK? Most Cathay Dragon routes are to be operated by Cathay Pacific or a subsidiary, but it was unclear how Taiwanese workers would be affected Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) yesterday said it is planning new flight services for Taiwan as it announced a corporate restructuring that included the shutdown of its regional subsidiary, Cathay Dragon (國泰港龍), and could lead to job cuts in Taiwan. Cathay Pacific said the shutdown means that the one round-trip service between Taichung and Hong Kong per day and seven round-trip services between Kaohsiung and Hong Kong operated by Cathay Dragon prior to the COVID-19 pandemic would be terminated. “The parent company is planning a new schedule between Taiwan and Hong Kong,” Cathay Pacific assistant manager for corporate communications Moses Hou (侯恩錫)
OVERHEATED MARKET?: The gauge would be designed to provide more reliable information than private-sector data, and help improve policymaking, the council said The National Development Council (NDC) is considering creating a business climate index on Taiwan’s property market, allowing policymakers to better monitor market movements and intervene if necessary, NDC Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said yesterday. Kung made the remarks at a meeting of the legislature’s Economic Committee where lawmakers from across party lines voiced concerns about housing price hikes driven by capital repatriation. Kung said that the council is assessing the possibility of creating an index designed to provide more accountable and transparent information than data provided by private-sector market analysts, and could help improve policymaking. The council would compile a report on
STOCK MARKETS TAIEX closes slightly higher The TAIEX closed slightly higher yesterday as market sentiment remained cautious over the Nov. 3 US presidential election. Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) was again the anchor stabilizing the broader market, preventing the main board from falling into negative territory at the end of the session, dealers said. The TAIEX closed up 14.88 points, or 0.12 percent, at 12,877.25, on turnover of NT$167.982 billion (US$5.81 billion). TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, rose 0.44 percent after fluctuating between NT$451 and NT$456. The semiconductor subindex and the bellwether electronics sector