Industrial profit growth dips
Profit growth at China’s industrial companies last month slowed to the weakest in more than one year as still-high commodity prices continued to hit profitability. Industrial profit growth last month decelerated to 9 percent from a year earlier, the slowest pace since May last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. For the first 11 months of the year, profits climbed 38 percent from a year earlier, it said. While profits of coal miners and crude oil suppliers increased more than 200 percent in the first 11 months, as commodity prices soared, that has undermined the position of companies that use these products, with electricity and heating producers having profits decline worse than in the same period last year.
Binance gets Bahrain nod
Binance Holdings Ltd (幣安) received in-principle approval from the Bahraini Central Bank to be a crypto-asset service provider in the kingdom, the company said in a statement yesterday. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, still needs to complete the full application process, chief executive officer Zhao Changpeng (趙長鵬) wrote in an e-mail to Bloomberg News. That would be completed “in due course,” Zhao added. If successful, it would mark the first regulatory approval for a Binance entity in the Middle East or North Africa.
Lira plummets nearly 8%
The lira yesterday tumbled almost 8 percent against the US dollar amid persisting investor concern over Turkey’s monetary policy, having surged more than 50 percent last week after billions of dollars of state-backed market interventions. Yesterday, the lira weakened to as low as 11.6 against the US dollar before trimming losses to trade at 11.35 by 11am in Ankara. At current levels, the currency is 35 percent weaker than at the end of last year. Under pressure from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the central bank has slashed its policy rates by 500 basis points to 14 percent since September, despite inflation that has risen to more than 21 percent.
Starling seeks lending unit
Digital-only start-up Starling Bank Ltd is on the hunt for a lending business to buy before its UK stock market debut, the Daily Mail reported, citing the bank’s founder and chief executive officer Anne Boden. Boden told the paper that the bank aims to acquire at least one lending platform in the first half of next year. Starling has made one such acquisition, buying Fleet Mortgages Ltd in July. “We’re likely to do one or more similar acquisitions in the same sort of model,” Boden said.
Global GDP to top US$100tn
The world economy is next year to surpass US$100 trillion for the first time, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said, adding that the milestone is arriving two years earlier than previously forecast. Global GDP is to be lifted by the continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, although if inflation persists it might be difficult for policymakers to avoid tipping their economies back into recession, the London-based think tank said. “The important issue for the 2020s is how the world economies cope with inflation,” CEBR deputy chairman Douglas McWilliams said.
The US and the EU were yesterday to announce a joint effort aimed at identifying semiconductor supply disruptions as well as countering Russian disinformation, officials said. Top US officials are visiting the French scientific hub of Saclay for a meetup of the Trade and Technology Council, created last year as China increasingly exerts its technology clout. US officials acknowledged that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has broadened the council’s scope, but said the Western bloc still has its eye on competition from China. The two sides will announce an “early warning system” for semiconductors supply disruptions, hoping to avoid excessive competition between Western powers
Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), which distributes Toyota and Lexus vehicles in Taiwan, yesterday introduced Toyota Motor Corp’s first all-electric sports utility vehicle (SUV), the bZ4X, joining rivals in vying for a share of the nation’s fast-growing electric vehicle market. Starting today, the bZ4X, with a price tag of NT$1.599 million (US$53,780), would be available for online purchase only and customers need to download a special app to place orders, Hotai said. Hotai has received 300 of the electric SUVs, it said, adding that it is not enough to meet robust market demand. A total of 229 electric vehicles were sold in the
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) has made further progress in its expansion into semiconductor manufacturing as its subsidiary teams up with Dagang NeXchange Bhd (DNeX) to build a 12-inch wafer fab in Malaysia. Big Innovation Holdings Ltd (BIH), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hon Hai, has inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with DNeX to collaborate on establishing and operating the semiconductor fab in the Southeastern Asian country, it said in a statement released by DNeX on its Web site. The fab is expected to produce 40,000 12-inch wafers per month, deploying 28-nanometer and 40-nanometer process technologies, the statement said. Under
BUYERS BATTLING: While China Steel expects demand to rise in the second half, the World Steel Association reduced its global demand forecast to 0.4% annual growth China Steel Corp (中鋼), the nation’s largest steelmaker, yesterday said it would cut domestic steel prices by 2.1 percent on average for delivery next month in response to a brief slowdown in steel demand and to help customers mitigate mounting manufacturing costs caused by geopolitical issues. However, the company said it expects steel demand to pick up in the second half of the year, benefiting from infrastructure programs in China, as lockdowns there could gradually be lifted later this year, as well as post-war reconstruction projects, if Russia’s war in Ukraine stabilizes. The Kaohsiung-based company’s move matches its Chinese counterparts’ recent