TIER lowers GDP growth forecast to 3.81%SEEING RAIN CLOUDS: Companies are less confident about their business prospects in the next six months, with tech firms more pessimistic than non-tech companies, TIER saidBy Crystal Hsu / Staff reporterThe Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台灣經濟研究院) yesterday trimmed its forecast for GDP growth this year from 4.1 percent to 3.81 percent, as private consumption was softer than expected because of COVID-19 infections and consumer price hikes. TIER Economic Forecasting Center director Gordon Sun (孫明德) attributed the softer GDP projection to weaker-than-expected private consumption in the first six months of the year. Taiwan Institute of Economic Research Economic Forecasting Center director Gordon Sun poses for a photograph in Taipei on Feb. 25. Private investment remains firm at 4.25 percent, as major tech companies pressed ahead with capacity expansion plans, Sun said. Despite ongoing tech cycle corrections, TIER increased its growth forecast for exports and imports to 13.16 percent and 16.9 percent on the back of a better performance in the first half.
July 25, 2022 17:26 UTC
President to observe part of Han Kuang military exercises aboard naval shipStaff writer, with CNAPresident Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is tomorrow to board a naval vessel to observe a joint exercise that is part of the annual five-day live-fire phase of the Han Kuang military exercises, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday. It would be the first time that Tsai inspects a Han Kuang drill from a warship since taking office in May 2016. Taiwanese military personnel in M60A3 tanks take part in a drill in New Taipei City on Sept. 16 last year as part of the annual Han Kuang military exercises. Tomorrow’s drill would be part of the live-fire component of this year’s annual Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan’s largest war games involving all military branches. As done previously, this year’s Han Kuang exercises are being held in two phases: war games and live-fire drills.
July 24, 2022 20:28 UTC
WAR IN UKRAINE: Poland set to buy tanks and planes from South KoreaAFP, WARSAWPoland, a NATO member bordering Ukraine, is to buy tanks, howitzers and fighter planes from South Korea, the government said on Friday as Warsaw shores up its defenses. “Next week, we are signing deals,” Polish Minister of National Defense Mariusz Blaszczak wrote on Twitter. Polish Minister of National Defense Mariusz Blaszczak, right, watches a soldier demonstrate a portable anti-aircraft missile system during a military picnic in Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki, Poland, on July 3. “We support Ukraine because it is fighting for us, but we must also strengthen our own defense capabilities,” he added. Earlier this month, Poland said it would buy 32 AW149 multi-role military helicopters worth 1.75 billion euros (US$1.8 billion) from Italian arms company Leonardo.
July 24, 2022 04:01 UTC
European shares log their best week in two monthsReutersEuropean shares notched up their best week in two months on Friday as concerns over an energy supply crunch eased, bringing some calm to investors worried about a big rise in interest rates and a political crisis in Italy. The pan-European STOXX 600 closed 0.3 percent up at its highest level since June 10, while for the week it jumped nearly 2.9 percent. The data prompted traders to reprice their interest rate expectations as they now expect 105 basis points of ECB rate hikes by December, down from about 120 basis points before the data, Refinitiv data showed. ECB policymaker Peter Kazimir on Friday said the central bank might raise interest rates by 25 or 50 basis points in September. “We retain a cautious view on European stocks as the ECB treads a fine line between fighting inflation and avoiding recession,” UBS Global Wealth Management chief investment officer Mark Haefele said.
July 23, 2022 20:29 UTC
Pandey needs that cash to replicate his online success in the chaotic world of Kota, the hub of India’s test-preparation market. When Pandey showed up in his brand-new classroom, screaming teenagers thronged the online celebrity — at least according to the promotional YouTube video, which has been seen 3 million times in three weeks. The Indian test-prep market has always been about turning anxiety into cash. Not all tutors are getting paid that much, but the business case is definitely shifting offline. Traditional tutoring has a faster path to profit, because its success is rooted in demographics and India’s post-socialist economic structure.
July 23, 2022 16:11 UTC
Japan’s inflation gauge rises further‘COST-PUSH INFLATION’: An analyst said that service prices are still not increasing much, so today’s data would not make the Bank of Japan rethink its policy plansBloombergJapan’s key inflation gauge rose further above the central bank’s target level of 2 percent, a result that will likely keep speculation smoldering over possible policy adjustments, despite Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s continued commitment to ultra-low rates. Still, the ongoing gains above the price target pose a communications challenge for the Bank of Japan. Processed food contributed about three-quarters of a percentage point to overall inflation, helping nudge the figure up. It then sees inflation weakening below its goal in the following year, a sign that sufficient price gains will not last. With the central bank hunkering down on its position, the Japanese government has stepped in to help rein in soaring power and food prices.
July 23, 2022 01:16 UTC
Five state-run banks raise new-loan interest ratesBy Crystal Hsu / Staff reporterInterest rates for new loans at the nation’s five major state-run banks last month edged up 0.005 percentage points to 1.44 percent on average, as lenders raised borrowing costs to support monetary tightening in a joint bid to curb inflation, the central bank said yesterday. The rate hike came after the central bank last month raised the rediscount rate by 0.125 percentage points for the second time this year to mitigate inflationary pressures. Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行), Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行), Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫銀行), Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行) and First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) followed suit, hiking interest rates for mortgages, consumer and capital loans. New mortgage operations softened by NT$7.88 billion (US$263.4 million) to NT$60.7 billion as interest rate hikes and other unfavorable factors cooled buying interest, the central bank said, adding that lenders also exercised caution and tamed mortgage operations. Interest rates for capital funding gained 0.347 percentage points to 1.905 percent, while interest rates for consumer loans picked up 0.165 percentage points, the central bank said.
July 23, 2022 01:16 UTC
Asia GDP forecast cut as China sticks to ‘zero COVID’ELEVATED RISKS: South Asia’s growth forecast was lowered to 6.5 percent this year and 7.1 percent next year, given the economic crisis in Sri Lanka and monetary woes in IndiaBloombergThe Asian Development Bank (ADB) cut this year’s GDP growth forecast in developing regions of Asia as China’s “zero COVID” approach to containing the virus creates ripple effects on regional supply chains and economic development. Growth in China, a key part of the developing Asia bloc, is expected to be weaker at 4 percent this year against a previous 5 percent expansion. Photo: AFPThe bank also slashed the forecast for East Asia — a region that includes Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and South Korea — to 3.8 percent from 4.7 percent. Economic growth slowed sharply to 0.4 percent in the second quarter, when dozens of cities, including Shanghai and Changchun, imposed lockdowns. Many economists expect China is likely to miss this year’s 5.5 percent economic growth target by a significant margin.
July 22, 2022 04:01 UTC
The Liberty Times Editorial: Sri Lanka collapse a wake-up callThe government of Sri Lanka early this month declared bankruptcy, saying that it cannot pay its external debts of more than US$50 billion. The investment and construction partnership between Sri Lanka and China started long before the Belt and Road Initiative. Sri Lanka occupies a strategic location at the southeastern edge of the Indian subcontinent. When people talk about failed Belt and Road Initiative projects, they often cite Sri Lanka as an example. When Sri Lanka sought an international emergency bailout, China faced the choice of whether to set a precedent by canceling Sri Lanka’s debt.
July 19, 2022 16:40 UTC
Social life helps orphaned elephants overcome loss: studyAFP, PARISOrphaned elephants manage to overcome the loss of their mother by living in a herd, highlighting the importance of a social life for the species, according to a study. Scientists investigated the consequences of a mother elephant’s death on her child by examining the level of stress hormones in the excrement of 37 young elephants in Kenya between 2015 and 2016. Among the young elephants, 25 had lost their mother between one and 19 years before from poaching or drought. The results could guide orphanages to provide companions of the same age to help orphaned elephants. The study also concluded that releasing groups of orphaned elephants together after they were linked during captivity could facilitate their transition to living in the wild.
July 19, 2022 04:01 UTC
Stabilization fund activated amid stock market rout‘GLOBAL UNCERTAINTY’: The TAIEX underperformed most of its Asian peers and has recorded the worst decline among global markets since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine The management committee of the National Stabilization Fund has activated the NT$500 billion (US$16.7 billion) fund to bolster the local stock market, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement yesterday. The announcement came after the TAIEX tumbled 25.19 percent from its peak this year, underperforming most of its Asian counterparts, amid mounting uncertainty about the global economy and geopolitical unrest, the ministry said. The TAIEX yesterday plunged 2.72 percent to close at 13,950.62 points, the lowest level in about two years, with a thin turnover of NT$199.67 billion. Weak investor confidence has triggered panic sell-offs, as the local stock market hasBy Lisa Wang
July 18, 2022 22:21 UTC
Mike Pompeo ready to compete for US presidency: reportBy Lin Liang-sheng and Liu Tzu-hsuan / Staff reporter, with staff writerFormer US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Saturday told British daily the Times that he was prepared to vie for the Republican nomination for US president in 2024. Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo delivers a speech in Taipei on March 4. Photo: Chiang Ying-ying, APHe also warned against the negative effects that China attacking or occupying Taiwan would have on the US, saying that it could hurt the US economy or weaken the US’ influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) yesterday said that he was not surprised by Pompeo’s plan to compete for the nomination, as US President Joe Biden’s approval ratings are declining. Pompeo has remained publicly active after leaving office, which is “a gesture of preparing to run for the presidency,” Chiang added.
July 18, 2022 22:05 UTC
Taiwan, India will remember AbeBy Sana Hashmi 胡莎娜Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated in Nara, Japan, on July 8. As an Indian living in Taiwan whose work is deeply influenced by Abe’s policies on India and Taiwan, I understand why there are striking similarities between the responses of Indians and Taiwanese to his passing. Abe became more vocal on Taiwan after stepping down as prime minister in 2020. In India, Abe was well-known and respected. Abe believed in India and encouraged its leadership to play a greater role when the West was hardly paying attention to the country.
July 18, 2022 04:10 UTC
The MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index has fallen 20 percent as foreign investors took US$71 billion out of emerging Asian stock markets outside China so far this year, already double last year’s outflows. Tech-heavy Asian markets such as South Korea and Taiwan look particularly vulnerable as higher global bond yields and recessionary headwinds are hurting valuations and the demand outlook. Further currency weakness could threaten the resilience their stock markets have shown this year. “From a flows and sentiment perspective, yes Asian stocks tend to underperform in the short term against a rising dollar,” said Christina Woon, investment director for Asia equities at Abrdn PLC. “You can also find a number of beneficiaries, such as exporters, or companies that have more domestically focused tailwinds where a stronger dollar is less of an issue,” she added.
July 18, 2022 03:54 UTC
“If the aircraft are disturbing Taiwan, why are they not being brought down?” he asked. When asked about the Twin-City Forum being brought forward from next month, he refused to reveal an exact date, saying it would be announced by Taipei and Shanghai after final negotiations. As the mayor of Taiwan’s capital, chairman of the Taiwan People’s Party and a possible presidential candidate, Ko’s words should be scrutinized and he should be held accountable for his actions. Ko must remember that he was elected in Taiwan’s capital and has a responsibility to honestly report to and be monitored by city councilors, who represent the people who voted for him. He was not elected by Shanghai, so he has no obligation to report to it first.
July 17, 2022 04:09 UTC