Bank upbeat on economy
Economic activity is forecast to continue rising this month, despite another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank of France said. Completed at the end of last week, the central bank’s monthly survey of 8,500 firms is the first indicator of how businesses in the eurozone’s second-largest economy are faring since the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 emerged. Based on their responses, the institution estimates economic activity was 0.5 percent above pre-crisis levels last month and would be 0.75 percent higher this month. That means output for the whole fourth quarter would also expand by almost 0.75 percent. The central bank, which is scheduled to announce fresh estimates on Dec. 20, in September predicted GDP would increase 6.3 percent this year.
Nestle sells L’Oreal shares
Swiss food giant Nestle on Tuesday said it was reducing its stake in French cosmetics group L’Oreal, selling 8.9 billion euros (US$10 billion) of shares. Nestle said in a statement that 22.26 million of its L’Oreal shares were sold for 400 euros each, adding that it “remains fully supportive” of the French company’s “value creation strategy.” L’Oreal said in a separate statement that it would cancel the shares, which represent 4 percent of its capital. The French group’s shareholders would see their shareholdings increase due to the buyback, L’Oreal said, adding that the stake of L’Oreal’s Bettencourt Meyers family shareholders would rise from 33.3 percent to 34.7 percent.
Binance invests in HGX
Binance Asia Services Pte Ltd (幣安亞洲服務), the Singapore entity of Changpeng Zhao (趙長鵬), said it has invested in a regional private securities exchange called Hg Exchange (HGX) that gives it a post-money stake of 18 percent. Financial offerings in the traditional form and cryptoassets are converging, Binance Singapore CEO Richard Teng (鄧偉政) said in a statement yesterday. A post-money valuation is the firm’s worth that includes the outside investment. Binance’s stake in HGX gives the crypto firm access to a regulated market operator, as HGX has a license to trade shares in private companies, as well as tokenized assets.
HNA transfers unit to Fangda
China’s HNA Group Co (海航集團) said it has transferred management of its core aviation business, including Hainan Airlines Holding Co (海南航空), to strategic investor Liaoning Fangda Group Industrial Co (遼寧方大集團), effective yesterday. Fangda Group is a conglomerate involved in carbon, steel and pharmaceuticals, with listed units such as Fangda Carbon New Material Co (方大炭素新材料科技), Fangda Special Steel Technology Co (方大特鋼科技) and Northeast Pharmaceutical Group Co (東北製藥).
Meta restructures research
Meta Platforms Inc is restructuring its internal research department, bringing dozens of employees previously working on product specific teams or business units, such as WhatsApp or Instagram, into a central group to handle research for the entire firm. The restructuring would affect about 50 researchers, said Pratiti Raychoudhury, head of research at Meta who is to oversee the group. The changes would involve workers examining societal topics such as politics, well-being and health, climate, equity, and integrity-related topics like misinformation and account safety, a spokeswoman for Meta said.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, has decided to slow down its 3-nanometer chip production as Intel Corp, one of its major customers, plans to push back the launch of its new Meteor Lake tGPU chipsets to the end of next year, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday. That means Intel has canceled almost all of the 3-nanometer capacity booked for next year, with only a small amount of wafer input remaining for engineering verification, the Taipei-based researcher said in a report. Based on Intel’s original schedule, TSMC was to start producing the new chipsets in
DATA SHOW DOWNTURN: Manufacturing in Taiwan contracted as production and demand slumped, while growth in chip exports last month eased in South Korea World chip sales growth has decelerated for six straight months in another sign that the global economy is straining under the weight of rising interest rates and mounting geopolitical risks. Semiconductor sales rose 13.3 percent in June from a year earlier, down from 18 percent in May, data from the global peak industry body showed. The slowdown is the longest since the US-China trade dispute in 2018. The three-month moving average in chip sales has correlated with the global economy’s performance in the past few decades. The latest weakness comes as concern about a worldwide recession has prompted chipmakers such as Samsung
‘NO NEED TO WORRY’: The central bank governor said foreign selling on the TAIEX is normal for this time of year and that the nation has ample forex reserves Taiwan would emerge unscathed from China’s retaliatory actions to protest US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, top monetary and financial officials said yesterday. Central bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) shrugged off unease over potential instability in the foreign exchange and stock markets after foreign portfolio funds trimmed their holdings of local shares for two straight days amid Beijing’s threats of retaliation. “There is no need to worry,” Yang said on the sidelines of an event to celebrate the first anniversary of the opening of Central American Bank for Economic Integration’s (CABEI) Taipei office and the 30th anniversary of
Italy is close to clinching a deal initially worth US$5 billion with Intel Corp to build an advanced semiconductor packaging and assembly plant in the country, two sources briefed on discussions said yesterday. Intel’s investment in Italy is part of a wider plan announced by the US chipmaker earlier this year to invest US$88 billion in building capacity across Europe, which is striving to cut its reliance on Asian chip imports and ease a supply crunch that has curbed output in the region’s strategic auto sector. Asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, the sources said the