Growth slows as exports dip
The Indonesian economy grew slower than expected in the first quarter, official data showed yesterday, as exports contracted for the first time since 2016 owing to softer demand for key commodities. Southeast Asia’s biggest economy expanded 5.07 percent in January to March, nearly flat from a year earlier and missing market estimates of 5.18 percent. An uptick in government and household spending buoyed growth, but imports and exports fell from a year ago, the statistics agency said.
Occidental revises offer
Occidental Petroleum Corp, which is in a bidding war with Chevron Corp to buy oil company Anadarko Petroleum Corp, on Sunday revised its offer and said it has found a buyer for Anadarko’s African investments if the deal goes through. Occidental is still offering US$76 a share for each share of Anadarko, the same as its bid from last month, but more of it is now in cash. The company said Total SA has agreed to buy Anadarko’s African assets for US$8.8 billion if the takeover happens.
India’s April PMI weakens
Expansion in India’s dominant services sector weakened last month ahead of an election, a private survey showed yesterday, suggesting a delayed recovery to Asia’s third-largest economy. The Nikkei India services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to a seven-month low of 51 from 52 in March on the back of slower increases in new business and output growth. A survey last week showed that manufacturing also weakened last month.
UK plans registry change
The UK plans to change the corporate registration system to increase the transparency of company ownership and management information while protecting personal data to prevent fraud. Directors will be able to suppress personal details such as addresses under planned changes to the 170-year-old Companies House register published on Sunday. The register includes more than 4 million limited-ownership companies. The measures would help combat economic crime by making it easier to identify owners and managers of companies, the government said in a statement.
Baqir to head central bank
The Pakistani Ministry of Finance has appointed an IMF economist to head its central bank amid ongoing talks with the international lending agency over a key US$8 billion bailout package. The ministry late on Saturday named Reza Baqir as governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, hours after firing Tariq Bajwa. The head of a tax collection body, Jahanzeb Khan, was also dismissed. Bajwa and Khan were part of the team holding talks with the IMF in Islamabad.
Fair tax measures mulled
The government is mulling the introduction of new measures to increase the tax base to alleviate fiscal pressure on the middle class and increase funding for social services, Moroccan Minister of Finance Mohamed Benchaaboun said. The measures are aimed at making the rich pay their “fair” share of taxes, as well as fighting tax evasion and fraud, Benchaaboun said late on Saturday. Income tax is disproportionately collected with 73 percent of revenue coming from taxing wages, ministry data showed.
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