Central bank hikes rates
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand yesterday delivered its eighth consecutive interest rate hike, sending the nation’s borrowing costs to their highest level in more than seven years, as it joins a global battle against surging inflation. The central bank stayed true to its course of the past 18 months, unveiling another increase of 50 basis points in its key rate to 3.5 percent — a level not seen since May 2015 — and warned of more rises in a bid to stymie price rises. It said inflation could climb beyond the current 7.3 percent rate, which is a 32-year high.
Chinese top property buyers
Chinese buyers have scooped up the biggest number of Singapore’s private apartments this year compared with other foreigners. Buyers from China purchased 932 private units in the first eight months of this year, almost twice the number bought by Malaysians, which came in second, a report by industry watcher OrangeTee & Tie Pte (橙易產業) said. Chinese buyers have been the biggest foreign buyer group since 2016, and took up 6.7 percent of total transactions this year, almost bouncing back to pre-COVID-19 levels. Other countries within the top five foreign buyers include India, followed by the US and Indonesia.
M&A slumps 40 percent
The Chinese territory is letting people go on a proper holiday for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. For bankers, the chance to take a break also speaks to a steep fall in dealmaking activity — in the territory and across the region. While the decline has been global, it has been particularly acute in the Asia-Pacific region. The volume of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the Asia-Pacific region plunged by more than 40 percent from last year to about US$156 billion in the third quarter, the worst such period since 2014, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. In China, Asia’s biggest market, M&A activity was the weakest of any third quarter in a decade.
Amazon freezes hiring
Amazon.com Inc has paused hiring for corporate positions in its retail business, the latest sign that the world’s largest e-commerce company is adjusting its workforce to slowing online sales. The company is to pause recruitment until the end of the year, a person familiar with the matter said. The freeze applies to corporate roles in the Worldwide Amazon Stores division, not the warehouse network where most of its employees work, the person said. Amazon reduced its workforce — primarily through attrition, the company says — by almost 100,000 people between March and June, the biggest quarterly decline in its history. As of June 30, Amazon had more than 1.5 million full and part-time workers.
Dalio steps down as co-CIO
After 12 years of trying, Ray Dalio is finally letting go. The billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates has given up control of the firm he built into the world’s largest hedge fund, entrusting its future and US$150 billion in assets to a younger generation of leaders with their own ideas about investing. On Friday last week, he transferred all of his voting rights to the board of directors and stepped down as one of Bridgewater’s three co-chief investment officers (co-CIO). “Ray no longer has the final word,” co-chief executive officer Nir Bar Dea said in an interview. “That’s a big change.”
Netherlands-based ASML Holding NV, a leading global supplier of semiconductor production equipment, is considering bringing its European suppliers to Taiwan, doubling down on its supply-chain deployment in the country, Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said yesterday. That follows ASML’s announcement that it would build manufacturing facilities in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口) to support international customers and the development of the semiconductor industry. RELOCATION Shen did not disclose details about ASML’s new efforts to relocate European supply chains to Taiwan. ASML is to begin construction on the New Taipei City project in July, Shen said during a speech at a technology forum
Local suppliers of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) appear to be divided over whether they should follow the chipmaker and also set up production facilities in the US, after TSMC announced that it would increase its investment in Arizona. While some TSMC suppliers, including clean-room design service provider United Integrated Services Co (漢唐集成), have set up plants in the US, others, such as IC testing and analysis provider Materials Analysis Technology Inc (閎康科技), have hesitated to make the move because of high production costs in the US. TSMC on Tuesday announced that it would increase its planned US$12 billion investment in
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is to build a wafer fab deploying 1 nanometer (nm) process technology at the Longtan (龍潭) campus of Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), Hsinchu Science Park Bureau Director-General Wayne Wang (王永壯) said yesterday. The bureau completed a pilot project in the middle of last month for the third expansion phase of the Longtan Science Park (龍潭科學園區) in Taoyuan to accommodate the new TSMC plant, Wang told a news conference. The pilot expansion project has been submitted to the National Science and Technology Council, which would next forward the project to the Cabinet for approval, Wang said. “The efforts
MORE ADVANCED CHIPS: The company is planning to build a second, 3-nanometer fab in Arizona, TSMC said ahead of a ‘tool-in’ ceremony at its first plant near Phoenix Apple Inc is to be the biggest customer of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) new Arizona factories, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote on Twitter yesterday. “Apple silicon unlocks a new level of performance for our users. And soon, many of these chips can be stamped ‘Made in America.’ The opening of TSMC’s plant in Arizona marks a new era of advanced manufacturing in the US — and we are proud to become the site’s largest customer,” he wrote. Cook’s tweet came as TSMC held a “tool-in” ceremony for its US$12 billion wafer fab in Arizona on Tuesday, which marked the beginning