Forecast revised upward
The government expects the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to be less severe than originally feared, but it now sees a weaker rebound next year, sources said yesterday. The government revised upward its economic forecast for this year to a decline of 5.8 percent from a previously expected slump of 6.3 percent, two people with knowledge of the data said. That would still be the biggest plunge since the end of World War II. The government revised downward its growth forecast for next year to an expansion of 4.4 percent from its previous estimate of 5.2 percent, the people said.
Macau revenue slumps
The territory’s casinos last month suffered further pain as gaming revenue dropped more than 90 percent for the fifth straight month, with executives awaiting a recovery after China’s gradual relaxation of travel and visa curbs. Gross gaming revenue was 1.33 billion patacas (US$167 million), down 95 percent from a year earlier, Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau data showed. That was in line with the median analyst estimate for a 93 percent decline.
Economy contracts 23.9%
The economy contracted by 23.9 percent in the second quarter, its worst performance in at least 24 years, the government announced on Monday, as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged what was once the world’s fastest-growing major economy. The contraction followed tepid 3.1 percent growth in the first quarter, which was the worst performance in at least eight years, the National Statistical Office said. The nation has reported 3,691,166 cases of COVID-19 and 65,288 deaths.
Bangladesh exports rebound
Bangladesh’s crucial textile industry last month posted a sharp rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, with exports surging nearly 50 percent as factories swung into full gear to meet orders from global retailers, officials said yesterday. Shipments of ready-made clothes totaled US$3.3 billion, up from US$2.3 billion a year earlier, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association said. The garment industry is the cornerstone of the Bangladeshi economy, the world’s second-largest exporter after China.
Joint initiative planned
The trade ministers of Japan, India and Australia yesterday agreed to work toward achieving supply chain resilience in the Indo-Pacific region, following reports that the three nations are looking to work together to counter China’s dominance. The ministers instructed their officials to promptly hammer out details for an initiative later this year to strengthen supply chains, a joint statement said. They also called on other nations in the region with shared views to participate in the initiative.
Bayer buys Care/of stake
Bayer AG has agreed to buy online vitamin and health supplement company Care/of as the German drugmaker aims to expand its nutrition business. Bayer is acquiring 70 percent of the business in a transaction that values the company at US$225 million, a person familiar with the matter said. Bayer would have an option to buy the rest by 2022, the person said. The deal is an “important milestone” for both Bayer and Care/of, said Bayer spokesman Dan Childs, who declined to comment on the terms of the deal.
HSBC Bank (Taiwan) Ltd (匯豐台灣商銀) has approved two sustainability-linked loans totaling NT$450 million (US$15.55 million) for Taya Group (大亞集團) and Sinbon Electronics Co (信邦電子), the bank said yesterday, adding that interest rates would fall if the borrowers’ sustainability performance improves. Those marked the first sustainability-linked loans granted by HSBC Taiwan, it said. While HSBC Taiwan has experience providing green loans for the nation’s developers of renewable energy sources to support their projects, the bank began focusing on sustainability-linked loans to meet rising demand from companies in other sectors planning to undertake sustainability programs, it said. “As we reward our clients who reach their
‘NEW TRAVEL MARKET’: The carrier initially planned to lay off about 8,000 people globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 percent of its workforce Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) would cut 6,000 jobs and close its Cathay Dragon brand, the South China Morning Post reported, as part of a strategic review to combat the unprecedented damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hong Kong-based airline is expected to officially announce the plan after the market close today, the newspaper said. It initially planned about 8,000 layoffs globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 percent of its total workforce, including about 5,000 jobs in Hong Kong, it said. The company, which posted a HK$9.9 billion (US$1.3 billion) loss in the first half, has for months
V-SHAPED RECOVERY: Local tech firms have benefited from strong demand for 5G deployment and electronic devices required for a low-contact economy, CIER said The Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER, 中華經濟研究院) yesterday raised its forecast for the nation’s GDP growth this year to 1.76 percent, from its previous estimate of 1.33 percent, saying exports and private consumption have staged a V-shaped recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the second half of the year. “The upgrade aims to reflect the fast recovery in Taiwan’s exports and domestic demand,” CIER president Chang Chuang-chang (張傳章) told a media briefing. The Taipei-based think tank said the economy might have expanded 2.77 percent last quarter — emerging from a 0.78 percent decline in the second quarter — and would grow
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) yesterday said that the company remains committed to its project in Wisconsin, but appeared to condition its completion on the receipt of state incentives, the Wall Street Journal reported. Gou said in a statement that Hon Hai, known as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團) outside of Taiwan, remains committed to its investment, although “market conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic” have altered the timing of its expansion and the specifics of its manufacturing plans. The company has over the past three years invested US$750 million to transform southeastern Wisconsin into a high-tech