Workers clash with police in ChinaAFP, BEIJINGScores of workers have clashed with police at a COVID test kit factory in China, video spreading on social media showed yesterday, as the country navigates a path out of its “zero COVID-19” policy. Photo: ReutersA man who posted video from the scene said in an accompanying caption that many workers had not been paid. Other posts alleged that Chongqing-based pharmaceutical company Zybio Inc (中元匯吉) suddenly fired workers who had only been recruited weeks earlier. Agence France-Presse could not confirm exactly when the videos were captured, although multiple social media users said the clash took place on Saturday night into yesterday morning. Protests centered on labor issues and targeting individual companies occur frequently in China, despite official efforts to clamp down on unrest.
January 08, 2023 20:30 UTC
Oil closes week with large losses amid uncertaintyBloombergOil on Friday posted a large loss the first week of trading in the new year as demand uncertainty continued to hang over the market. Brent Crude for March delivery fell 0.15 percent to US$78.57, dropping 8.54 percent from a week earlier. Photo: ReutersSaudi Arabia cut prices for crude sold to Asia and Europe for next month, signaling concerns over the near-term outlook. Still, oil prices might exceed US$140 per barrel this year if Asian economies fully reopen after COVID-19-related lockdowns, hedge fund manager Pierre Andurand said. Oil fell during the fourth quarter and US benchmark prices fell close to those levels last month.
January 07, 2023 19:01 UTC
Japan wants G7 nations to team up against ‘economic coercion’ by ChinaBloombergJapan wants G7 countries to take a coordinated approach this year aimed at preventing the “economic coercion” that China has applied to some of its trading partners. “We expect effective responses to economic coercion will be a major item at this year’s G7 summit,” he said. Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura speaks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on Thursday. China has repeatedly applied economic retribution toward trading partners amid diplomatic disputes. Beijing has criticized G7 nations for what it says are their own protectionist moves designed to prevent China’s economic rise.
January 07, 2023 10:40 UTC
Photo: EPA-EFESamsung’s operating profit fell by 69 percent to 4.3 trillion won (US$3.4 billion) for the three months ended last month, missing the average estimate of 6.7 trillion won by analysts. Sales fell to 70 trillion won, the company said in a statement. Samsung is slated to provide a full financial statement with net income and information on divisional performance on Jan. 31. Samsung could sustain low profit in the first quarter after yesterday reporting preliminary operating profit for the fourth quarter last year about 35 percent below consensus, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Masahiro Wakasugi said. Its NAND chip segment might have been unprofitable last quarter due to severe price erosion, while DRAM might have generated a profit, Wakasugi said.
January 07, 2023 09:46 UTC
Citi appoints Aftab Ahmed to lead the bank’s operations in TaiwanStaffCitibank Taiwan Ltd’s (台灣花旗) board of directors yesterday elected Aftab Ahmed, a former Citi country officer (CCO) for the Philippines, as the bank’s new chairman, pending regulatory approval. Aftab, a Citi veteran of more than 40 years, has previously worked as Citi Taiwan’s global consumer banking operations and technology head, and thus has a good understanding and knowledge of the local market. Citi appoints Aftab Ahmed to lead the bank’s operations in Taiwan. Under his leadership, Citi Taiwan has consistently delivered strong results and has been smoothly moving forward with the GCB Divestiture. Citi was also consistently named Best Bank by Euromoney and Best International Bank by Asiamoney.
January 06, 2023 02:20 UTC
“The property market is heading for a downturn in both transactions and prices, although some developers seek to push prices higher with their own capital,” Cushman & Wakefield Taiwan managing director Billy Yen (顏炳立) said. The strategy would prove to be overreaching and impractical in light of a global economic slowdown and monetary tightening, Yen told a media briefing. Cushman & Wakefield Taiwan managing director Billy Yen speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. Commercial property transactions shrank 17.6 percent year-on-year to NT$125.8 billion (US$4.1 billion) last year, while land deals plunged more than 40 percent to NT$171.8 billion, the property consultancy said. Profits from property transactions on the part of companies are subject to income taxes of 20 percent, while individuals might pay up to 40 percent, depending on their income level.
January 05, 2023 22:14 UTC
The official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 47.0 last month from 48.0 in November, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday. Economists in a Reuters poll had expected the PMI to come in at 48.0. The 50-point mark separates contraction from growth on a monthly basis. The drop was the biggest since the early days of the pandemic in February 2020. The data offered
January 05, 2023 02:23 UTC
Here are some highlights:POKEMON, BUT MAKE IT BIRDSPeople on Tuesday arrive to attend CES Unveiled ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mohamed Soliman of Atmos Gear shows off the Atmos Gear inline electric skates on Tuesday during CES Unveiled before the start of the CES tech show in Las Vegas. ELECTRIC SKATESJournalists had fun zipping around the exhibit hall on remote-controlled, electric inline skates from French startup AtmosGear. An exhibiter on Tuesday apples a temporary tattoo with a Prinker digital temporary tattoo device during CES Unveiled before the start of the CES tech show in Las Vegas. The device allows the user to print a temporary tattoo in cosmetic ink.
January 04, 2023 22:17 UTC
Foreigners sold a record NT$1.23 trillion of shares last yearBy Chen Cheng-hui / Staff reporterForeign institutional investors last year sold a net NT$1.23 trillion (US$40.07 billion) of local shares, the highest amount on record, after selling a net NT$23.82 billion in the final week of the year, the Taiwan Stock Exchange said in a statement yesterday. The exchange’s data showed that they sold a net NT$454.09 billion in 2021 and a net NT$539.52 billion in 2020. Photo: CNALast year, the market capitalization of shares held by foreign investors was NT$17.49 trillion, accounting for 39.56 percent of total market capitalization, the exchange said. Shares in financial holding firms faced huge selling pressure last year due to increased volatility in the global stock and bond markets amid central banks’ monetary tightening. Surging COVID-19 insurance claims in Taiwan were another negative factor for some financial holding firms, such as Shin Kong Financial, Fubon Financial and Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), that count insurance business as one of their major sources of earnings.
January 04, 2023 21:27 UTC
Photo: AFPThe CES show officially opens on Thursday, but companies would begin to vie for the spotlight with the latest tech wizardry as early as today. CES is to be spread over more than 7 hectares, from the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center to pavilions set up in parking lots. After being a major theme at CES last year, virtual reality headgear aimed at transporting people to the metaverse are expected to again to figure prominently. Tech designed to better assess health and connect remotely with care providers would also be strong at CES. “If you are the kind of person who is off the grid growing vegetables, then CES is not for you,” Greengart said.
January 03, 2023 09:15 UTC
Shooters attack Kashmir village, killing four civiliansAP, SRINAGAR, IndiaAssailants sprayed bullets toward a row of civilian homes in a remote village in Indian-controlled Kashmir, leaving at least four civilians dead and five injured, police said yesterday. Police blamed militants fighting against Indian rule for decades for carrying out the attack at Dhangri village in southern Rajouri district, which is close to the highly militarized Line of Control that divides the disputed region between India and Pakistan. Supporters of right-wing Hindu group Rashtriya Bajrang Dal yesterday protest in Jammu, India, after an attack in the southern Rajouri district of Indian-controlled Kashmir. Two shooters indiscriminately opened fire on Sunday night at three houses in Dhangri, Indian Police Service official Mukesh Singh told reporters. Rebels in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir have been fighting New Delhi’s rule since 1989.
January 02, 2023 23:21 UTC
World markets begin the year mixedAP, BANGKOKShares began this year mixed, with European benchmarks opening higher yesterday after a lackluster session for the few Asian markets not closed for New Year holidays. Germany’s DAX gained 0.6 percent in early trading to 14,002.67 and the CAC 40 in Paris added 1.2 percent to 6,550.08. A man walks past a screen showing the KOSPI and the KOSDAQ at the Korea Exchange in Seoul yesterday. The specter of recession in the US and other major economies, as well as a prolonged slump in China, are factors overhanging markets. On Friday, US markets logged more losses in quiet trading, closing the book on the worst year for the benchmark S&P 500 since 2008.
January 02, 2023 23:21 UTC
S Korean exports continue to decline on cooling global demand, economic riskBloombergSouth Korea’s exports continued to decline last month in a sign of cooling global demand as higher interest rates weigh on consumption. Photo: ReutersSouth Korean exports are a major barometer of global commerce and tech demand as the nation produces key items such as chips, displays and refined oil. South Korean exports last year increased 6.1 percent, while imports rose 18.9 percent. Exports would likely fall 4.5 percent this year and imports could decline 6.4 percent, the South Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance said. Exports to China fell 27 percent year-on-year last month, while shipments to the US increased 6.7 percent, the trade ministry said.
January 01, 2023 19:01 UTC
The data offered the first official snapshot of the manufacturing sector after China removed the world’s strictest COVID-19 restrictions last month. Weakening external demand on the back of growing global recession fears amid rising interest rates, inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could further slow China’s exports, hurting its massive manufacturing sector and hampering an economic recovery, they said. “So even though China is opening up, manufacturing is still going to slow down because the rest of the world’s economy is slowing down. GDP expanded 3 percent in the first nine months of last year, compared with China’s official full-year goal of around 5.5 percent. The official composite PMI, which combines manufacturing and services, declined to 42.6 from 47.1.
January 01, 2023 19:01 UTC
Lawsuit filed to revoke election resultsINVESTIGATION: Prosecutors in Nantou and Miaoli counties yesterday filed litigation to prevent elected officials who allegedly engaged in vote-buying from taking officeBy Jason Pan / Staff reporterFive Nantou County councilors and Miaoli County commissioner-elect Chung Tung-chin (鍾東錦) could be booted out of office in lawsuits filed by prosecutors, following probes into vote-buying allegations in the run-up to November’s local elections. Following an investigation into contraventions of election law during campaigning, prosecutors in Nantou County yesterday filed to nullify the votes involving 13 winning candidates, including five county councilors, seven township representatives and one village head. Chung’s major backers were led by then-incumbent KMT county commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌), and most KMT county councilors. Miaoli prosecutors also listed independent county councilor-elect Huang Sheng-chuan (黃聲全) in litigation to revoke county councilor seats, as well as nine winning township representatives and three village wardens. In Taitung County, prosecutors found vote-buying evidence against six winning candidates, including five township representatives and one village warden, and filed litigation to invalidate the election outcome in those districts.
January 01, 2023 10:42 UTC