HP profit up 35 percent
Hewlett-Packard said on Tuesday that its profit increased 35 percent in its first quarter as revenue grew 11 percent. The company said net income for the quarter ended on Jan. 31, was US$1.8 billion, or US$0.65 a share, compared with US$1.4 billion, or US$0.48 a year earlier. Revenue climbed to US$25.1 billion from US$22.7 billion a year earlier. Analysts had been expecting net earnings of US$0.62 a share. Strong sales of personal computers were crucial to the firm's performance. Revenue for its PC unit grew 17 percent to US$8.7 billion. While desktop sales declined slightly, sales of notebook computers rose 40 percent.
UB Group eyes whisky firm
Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya's UB Group said yesterday it was scrutinizing the books of scotch-whisky maker Whyte and Mackay prior to a possible takeover reportedly worth US$1.07 billion. "The due diligence process is under way," P.A. Murali, chief financial officer of UB Spirits Ltd, India's largest distiller, told reporters in Bangalore. Murali said it would be "speculative" to comment on the likely date of an agreement. UB Group, founded in 1915 to make bulk beer for British troops, said last month that it was in talks to acquire Glasgow-based Whyte and Mackay.
Wikipedia not in trouble
The president of the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the free Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, on Tuesday rebutted rumors circulating on the web that it is dangerously short of money. Florence Devouard, who lives in France, is quoted by bloggers as saying that the foundation only has resources for a few more months and that without new funding it could close. But she told reporters remarks she made at a conference were being misconstrued. "There are indeed only about US$1 million in the bank, but compared to previous years that is almost comfortable. It is enough for three or four months -- nothing to panic about," she said.
Hyundai chairman in India
Hyundai Motor Co chairman Chung Mong-koo left for India on business yesterday, the company said, on Chung's first trip abroad since he was handed a prison term earlier this month. Chung plans to check progress at Hyundai's second Indian plant, which is slated to start operating in the third quarter of this year in the city of Chennai, said Oles Gadacz, Hyundai's director of global public relations. The Seoul District Court on Feb. 5 convicted Chung for illegally raising a US$110 million slush fund from affiliates, as well as other wrongdoing in one of South Korea's most high-profile corruption scandals. Last year Chung was jailed for about two months before being released on bail.
Mittal to sell Baltimore mill
The US Justice Department on Tuesday ordered global steel giant Mittal Steel Co to sell its Sparrows Point mill near Baltimore, Maryland, to settle antitrust issues raised by the Dutch firm's recent merger with Arcelor SA. The proposed consent decree would allow Mittal to keep a Weirton, West Virginia, mill that had volunteered to be sold to preserve competition for tin-plated steel, used primarily for food and aerosol cans. Illinois-based Esmark Inc said it might consider a joint venture to buy Sparrows Point if the Weirton mill is unavailable, and industry experts said a number of German, Indian and Russian companies are shopping for North American steel mills.
Warner/EMI talks continue
US record company Warner Music Group Corp said yesterday that any offer for Britain's EMI Group PLC was likely to be all cash. In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, New York-based Warner said its shareholders would not be required to notify their interests in its securities under UK takeover regulations if it does bid for EMI. The statement gave no further clues as to Warner's intentions. A merged EMI and Warner Music would control about 25 percent of the global recorded music market, ranking second to Vivendi SA's Universal Music, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said.
China's growth contracts
Economic growth in China this year will drop to single digits for the first time in five years, state media reported yesterday, citing a senior government researcher. The world's fourth-largest economy is expected to expand by 9 percent this year, the China Daily said, citing Liu Shijin (劉世錦), deputy director of the Development Research Center, a think tank attached to the Cabinet. That is down from 10.7 percent last year, the fourth consecutive year of double-digit growth. Liu said China would see growth rates of 7 percent to 8 percent in the next 10 years.
Strong growth in Taichung
The new housing market in Taichung recorded a growth of more than 7 percent last year, Wang Chung-cheng (王忠正), chairman of the Taichung Real Estate Development Association, said yesterday. The value of the new housing projects launched in Taichung last year was NT$117.15 billion (US$3.54 billion), an increase of NT$9.5 billion, or 7.7 percent, from 2005, he said. The city's Hsitun (西屯) District was the most sought-after neighborhood for house buyers, accounting for 35 percent of the new housing market. Wang said that the total value of new projects in Taichung will reach NT$150 billion this year.
Police launch investor probe
Hong Kong police are probing claims that investors cheated to win share allotments in last year's spate of huge stock exchange initial public offerings of Chinese banks, a report said yesterday. Investigators believe some small investors hungry for a piece of the hugely over-subscribed offers had submitted multiple applications under different names to increase their chances of being allotted a portion of shares. A report in the Hong Kong Standard English-language daily said that the scam was first noticed during last year's biggest share offers, of Industrial and Commerce Bank of China (中國工商銀行) and Bank of China (中國銀行).
Taiwan to build cruise ships
Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) plans to branch into cruise travel, CNA said on Tuesday. "Yang Ming Marine has invested in container shipping, port facilities and land transport. Our mid- and long-term goals are tourism," Chu Tong-ping (朱統平), executive director of the Yang Ming Marine Culture Foundation, said. As very few foreign cruise liners dock at Taiwan's ports, Chu said the company plans to branch into the cruise business and have Taiwan's own cruise ships built, so that foreign tourists can visit on Taiwanese-owned luxury cruise ships. The company plans to launch its first luxury cruise ship in 2012.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion