Machinery firms visit Europe
The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會) will head a trade delegation of machinery manufacturers to eastern Europe in May to help domestic manufacturers explore the market there, a council official said yesterday. The official said that as more east European countries had entered or were preparing to enter the WTO, trade information about these countries was becoming more transparent. Judging by the figures, there is a trend that more and more East European countries are shifting their purchase sources from western Europe to more competitive Asian countries, the official added. TAITRA is scheduled to hold three trade seminars in Poland, Ukraine and Russia, respectively, from May 15-27.
HP to drop NASDAQ listing
Hewlett-Packard Co, the world's biggest maker of personal computers, will withdraw its shares from the NASDAQ Stock Market to reduce its listing fees. The common stock will still be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Palo Alto, California-based Hewlett-Packard said on Friday in a statement. The move eliminates the administrative costs of having both listings and won't affect trading, the company said. A company the size of Hewlett-Packard would pay an annual listing fee of US$75,000 on NASDAQ, according to data on the exchange's Web site. The fee is higher on the NYSE.
Peruvian exploration panned
Indian leaders and activists criticized a decision to open up oil exploration in the Peruvian jungle, saying the move would pose health and environmental risks. State oil company Petroperu opened an auction last month for rights to 18 oil fields, seven of which are located in areas home to isolated jungle tribes. In a news conference on Friday, Indian leaders urged authorities not to offer rights to those seven fields, claiming exploration there could harm fragile ecosystems. They also said they feared that the tribes lack the immune systems to fight off illnesses that oil workers could bring to the area.
■ Trade secrets
Woman guilty in Coke case
A jury on Friday found former Coca-Cola administrative assistant Joya Williams guilty of trying to sell secret information on new Coke products to rival Pepsi, the Atlanta Attorney General's office said. In a verdict which could land her in jail for 10 years, Williams, 41, and two co-conspirators and ex-convicts, Edmund Duhaney and Ibrahim Dimson, were arrested in July for scheming to collect US$1.5 million from PepsiCo for Coca-Cola secrets. Duhaney and Dimson are awaiting sentencing and could also face 10 years in jail. "We are disappointed with the verdict," her court-appointed lawyer Janice Singer said, adding, "Ms. Williams will appeal."
Tata has no job guarantees
Indian tycoon Ratan Tata said yesterday he could give no guarantees over the safety of jobs, following his firm's successful bid for Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus Group Plc. In an interview with British business daily the Financial Times in Mumbai, Tata said he could give no assurances because his company had only researched Corus "on paper" and had yet to examine their plants in detail. Tata's comments come after Britain's largest steel trade union demanded a meeting with the tycoon seeking assurances he will remain committed to expanding Corus after his US$13.7 billion bid.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca