Kuroda wins second term at Bank of Japan

Haruhiko Kuroda took the helm as Bank of Japan chief in March 2013 with a mandate to deploy what was called a monetary “bazooka” to stoke life into the moribund Japanese economy. (AFP)
Updated 16 March 2018

Kuroda wins second term at Bank of Japan

TOKYO: Japan’s parliament approved Haruhiko Kuroda for a second term as central bank governor on Friday, with a mandate to battle deflation and pep up the world’s third-biggest economy.
Handpicked by Shinzo Abe to steer the former economic powerhouse out of a dangerous cycle of falling prices, Kuroda has guided the key monetary plank of the prime minister’s vaunted “Abenomics” economic policy.
Now 73, the ex-president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is on course to become the longest-serving Bank of Japan (BoJ) governor if he completes a full second five-year term.
Kuroda took the helm in March 2013 with a mandate to deploy what was called a monetary “bazooka” to stoke life into the moribund Japanese economy.
He has overseen a policy of ultra-aggressive monetary easing, adopting in January 2016 the BoJ’s first-ever negative interest rates, effectively charging lenders to park their cash at the central bank.
The BoJ has also pledged to keep the yield on 10-year government bonds around zero by buying as many as necessary.
However, Kuroda has failed in his mission to hit the inflation target of two percent — the most recent figure was 0.9 percent in January.
Critics also charge that his monetary easing has pushed down the value of the yen, making the recovery too export-led.
But he can point to more success recently on the economy front, with Japan currently enjoying its longest unbroken spell of quarterly growth since the bubble days of the late 1980s.
Market experts say that with inflationary shoots beginning to spring forth and the economy picking up, Kuroda’s greatest future challenge will be exiting the easing policy.
For now, Kuroda has pledged to stay the course.
“We need to persist with the monetary easing policy to realize the inflation target,” he said after the bank’s most recent meeting, adding Japan is still “far away” from achieving the two percent goal.
“So we’re not in a situation where we can discuss the timing of exit policy.”
Economists said the government was sticking with a safe pair of hands while other global central banks weigh how to move safely away from monetary policy crafted from the ruins of the subprime mortgage crisis.


Huawei’s third-quarter revenue jumps 27% as smartphone sales surge

Updated 17 October 2019

Huawei’s third-quarter revenue jumps 27% as smartphone sales surge

  • American companies, significantly disrupting its ability to source key parts
  • Huawei was all but banned by the United States in May from doing business with American companies

SHENZHEN, SHANGHAI: Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd’s third-quarter revenue jumped 27%, driven by a surge in shipments of smartphones launched before a trade blacklisting by the United States expected to hammer its business.
Huawei, the world’s biggest maker of telecom network equipment and the No. 2 manufacturer of smartphones, was all but banned by the United States in May from doing business with American companies, significantly disrupting its ability to source key parts.
The company has been granted a reprieve until November, meaning it will lose access to some technology next month. Huawei has so far mainly sold smartphones that were launched before the ban.
Its newest Mate 30 smartphone — which lacks access to a licensed version of Google’s Android operating system — started sales last month.
Huawei in August said the curbs would hurt less than initially feared, but could still push its smartphone unit’s revenue lower by about $10 billion this year.
The tech giant did not break down third-quarter figures but said on Wednesday revenue for the first three quarters of the year grew 24.4% to 610.8 billion yuan.
Revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose to 165.29 billion yuan ($23.28 billion) according to Reuters calculations based on previous statements from Huawei.
“Huawei’s overseas shipments bounced back quickly in the third quarter although they are yet to return to pre-US ban levels,” said Nicole Peng, vice president for mobility at consultancy Canalys.
“The Q3 result is truly impressive given the tremendous pressure the company is facing. But it is worth noting that strong shipments were driven by devices launched pre-US ban, and the long-term outlook is still dim,” she added.
The company said it has shipped 185 million smartphones so far this year. Based on the company’s previous statements and estimates from market research firm Strategy Analytics, that indicates a 29% surge in third-quarter smartphone shipments.
Still, growth in the third quarter slowed from the 39% increase the company reported in the first quarter. Huawei did not break out figures for the second quarter either, but has said revenue rose 23.2% in the first half of the year.
“Our continued strong performance in Q3 shows our customers’ trust in Huawei, our technology and services, despite the actions and unfounded allegations against us by some national governments,” Huawei spokesman Joe Kelly told Reuters.
The US government alleges Huawei is a national security risk as its equipment could be used by Beijing to spy. Huawei has repeatedly denied its products pose a security threat.
The company, which is now trying to reduce its reliance on foreign technology, said last month that it has started making 5G base stations without US components.
It is also developing its own mobile operating system as the curbs cut its access to Google’s Android operating system, though analysts are skeptical that Huawei’s Harmony system is yet a viable alternative.
Still, promotions and patriotic purchases have driven Huawei’s smartphone sales in China — surging by a nearly a third compared to a record high in the June quarter — helping it more than offset a shipments slump in the global market.