Moody’s sees G20 recession
The world’s 20 most industrialized nations are likely to suffer a recession this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, financial ratings agency Moody’s said on Wednesday. The G20’s overall GDP would contract by 0.5 percent, with the US economy shrinking by 2 percent and the eurozone by 2.2 percent, Moody’s said. China could see economic activity expand 3.3 percent, but that would still be well below average for the world’s second-biggest economy, it said.
India mulls shutdowns
India’s central bank and major lenders are considering shutting down most branches across the nation to prevent tens of thousands of employees from getting infected with the coronavirus, four sources familiar with the plan said. Under the plan, in major cities there would likely be only one bank open every 5km, the sources said, declining to be identified as it has not yet been publicly disclosed. In the countryside, banks would likely operate on alternate days and redeploy staff to only allow disbursal of welfare cash to the poor, the sources said.
UK sales might fall 60%
UK house sales are set to plunge 60 percent in the next three months as the pandemic batters the economy. The slump in the second quarter, which is usually among the most active sales periods, would be followed by a further decline in the three months through September, a report released yesterday by real-estate portal Zoopla said. The virus is already weighing on deals, with the number of homes placed under offer in the seven days through Sunday down 15 percent from the previous week, Zoopla data showed.
GDP to shrink 1% to 3%
The government expects the economy to contract by 1 to 3 percent due to COVID-19, which has brought economic activity to a virtual standstill, Minister of Finance Christos Staikouras said yesterday. The impact is likely to be milder than other eurozone countries, Staikouras said, but added that any estimates were tempered by how long the crisis would last. A recovery in economic activity next year is forecast to be sharp, he told Skai TV.
Lockdowns to hit sales
Vehicle sales in US states that implemented lockdown orders to curb the spread of COVID-19 are forecast to drop 80 percent or more, analysts said on Wednesday. Retail sales through the week that ended on Sunday declined 22 percent nationwide on a yearly basis and as much as 40 percent in some cities on the west coast, research firm J.D. Power said, citing data from dealership stores across the nation. Last week’s data did not yet fully account for various US states passing so-called shelter-in-place orders at the end of last week.
IMF offers US$50bn aid
The IMF is to provide US$50 billion in emergency facilities to low-income and emerging-market countries to mitigate the economic shocks of COVID-19, including US$10 billion in concessional loans.“Our member countries need us more than ever,” the IMF said on Wednesday. “Discussions between IMF teams and country officials are advancing quickly.” The fund has received requests for emergency financing from almost 20 countries and expects 10 more nations to seek its help, it said.
STEPPING UP: The firm has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week and to halt all but essential overseas business travel from next month Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has implemented a remote work policy for employees not on production lines in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. This is the first time in the Hsinchu-based company’s history that it has launched a large-scale remote work policy, joining global technology companies, such as Apple Inc and Google, that encourage employees to work from home. The chipmaker has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week, it said. As the number of virus infections continues to climb worldwide, TSMC has urged employees to halt unnecessary
A two-hour drive south of Amsterdam in Veldhoven, workers decked out head-to-toe in protective gear toil in vast assembly halls. Before entering the inner sanctuary of the facilities, they meticulously layer on masks, gloves and special socks. A single speck of dust or a hair can have devastating effects on production. The result of all this painstaking process is an environment that is 10,000 times more purified than outside. As COVID-19 grips the world, it might just be the safest place to work right now. The teams belong to ASML Holding NV, which holds a de facto monopoly on the industry of
DBS Bank Ltd yesterday hacked its GDP growth forecast for Taiwan this year to 0.9 percent, down from its estimate of 2.3 percent two months earlier, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing financial market volatility. The bank’s latest forecast was even lower than London-based IHS Markit Ltd’s estimate of 1 percent, while other research institutes’ projections range from 1.6 percent to 2.6 percent. Taiwan’s economic momentum is being negatively affected by the pandemic, DBS said. The rapid spread of the disease from Asia to Europe and the US has dampened the bank’s previous expectation of a “V-shaped” global rebound in the
DOWNSIDE RISKS: Firms have a ‘very low’ chance of boosting investment returns in the next two years, making it hard for them to improve their capitalization, an analyst said Taiwanese life insurers wanting to improve their capital structure face strong headwinds this year, given prolonged low interest rates and economic impacts derived from trade protectionism and the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan Ratings Corp (中華信評) said on Friday. The local life insurance sector also still has high asset risks and such risks are susceptible to market volatility, the local arm of Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings said. Since last year, major financial holding companies — including CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控), Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) and Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) — have announced plans to raise fresh capital to