French chef to cook at Regent
Michelin-starred French chef Frederic Anton is to cook Taiwanese goodies on Nov. 2 and Nov. 4 at the invitation of Regent Taipei (台北晶華酒店). Anton has been dubbed the successor to late French chef Joel Robuchon and has won honors from the Michelin Guide. This would likely be Anton’s last overseas guest-chef event, as his restaurant at the Eiffel Tower in Paris is to start operations early next year and would occupy his full attention, the hotel said. The guest-chef event is to be held at Robin’s Grill on the hotel’s second floor with a lunch set at NT$8,800 per head and a dinner set at NT$12,800 per head.
Asia liquidity remains tight
The Asian liquidity stress indicator (Asian LSI) of Moody’s Investors Service weakened from 31.1 percent in August to 33.5 percent last month, registering its highest level since August 2016, the firm said in a statement yesterday. The Asian LSI measures the percentage of high-yield companies with Moody’s weakest speculative-grade liquidity score of SGL-4 as a proportion of high-yield corporate family ratings. The indicator increases when speculative-grade liquidity deteriorates. “The Asian LSI has remained above the 12-month average of 28.8 percent and is now approaching the record high of 34.2 percent set in April 2016,” Moody’s vice president and senior credit officer Brian Grieser said. Although refinancing risk has been manageable for most companies this year, liquidity remains tight across many sectors, highlighting the difficult market conditions, the statement said, adding that the primary driver for the weak liquidity trend is the increasing number of firms that rely heavily on uncommitted, short-term facilities from relationship banks.
Formosa group’s rating lifted
Taiwan Ratings Corp has raised its long-term issuer credit rating for the four core members of Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團) from “twAA-” to “twAA” and affirmed a “twA-1+” short-term rating. The upgrade reflects the ratings agency’s view that improved profitability and cash flow could sustain the group’s financial leverage over the next one to two years, it said in a statement on Monday. This enhanced financial headroom should help absorb potential volatility in the petrochemical market over the long term, it said. Formosa Plastics Group could also fund the group’s core and potential non-core investments, as well as an upcoming large investment in the US, while still maintaining the group’s ratio of operational funds to debt consistently above 45 percent throughout the business cycle, it said.
Storms spike food costs
Consumer prices increased 2.5 percent last month from a year earlier, driven mainly by higher food prices. The pace of the increase was considerably faster than the 1.7 percent recorded in August. The price spike was mainly due to inclement weather conditions. Some regions that grow vegetables had storms, which disrupted supply conditions. As a result, vegetable and fruit prices surged 9.8 percent and 6.4 percent respectively, and together contributed 0.35 percentage points to the rise in the headline consumer price index year-on-year. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) said that China’s food prices might hold up, particularly as pork prices have been recovering, despite the swine fever outbreak since July. Still, overall inflation is within a supportive range and is not yet a major factor for policy decisions, ANZ said.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion