Fed mulls asset purchases
US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Monday that the economy could be helped by another round of asset purchases by the central bank. Bernanke’s comment reinforces analysts’ beliefs that the Fed is likely to take action at its next meeting next month. The Fed is considering launching a new program to buy government debt, a move aimed at driving down rates on mortgages, corporate loans and other debt. It’s wrestling with how much it should buy. “I do think the additional purchases — although we don’t have the precise numbers for how big the effects are — I do think they have the ability to ease financial conditions,” Bernanke said during a town-hall style meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, with college students.
US sues big three issuers
The US Department of Justice on Monday sued the three largest US credit card companies for anticompetitive practices and reached a proposed settlement with two of them, MasterCard and Visa. Under the settlement, Visa and MasterCard agree not to prohibit merchants from offering customers discounts or rebates for using a particular kind of card. Visa and MasterCard also must allow merchants to express preferences for the use of a low-cost card within a network or other form of payment. However, American Express vowed to fight the charges.
EADS budgets acquisitions
European aerospace group EADS is set to spend up to 2 billion euros (US$2.7 billion) on acquisitions, and has the defense, security and services sectors in mind, CEO Louis Gallois said yesterday. “We have a few targets in sight” in those sectors, and “we have the capacity to invest between one and two billion euros,” Gallois told the German business daily Handelsblatt. The amount is higher than the EADS had indicated previously. With a treasury that currently contains some 8.9 billion euros, EADS wants to strike a better balance among its activities and take some pressure off its main division, the aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
Tesco first-half profit up 15%
Tesco PLC, the world’s third-largest retailer, said yesterday that its first-half profit rose 15 percent as it benefited from recovering economies, particularly in Asia. For the six months ending on Aug. 28, Tesco reported a net profit of ￡1.18 billion (US$1.87 billion), up from ￡1.03 billion a year ago. Group sales were up 8.3 percent to ￡32.9 billion, boosted in part by higher sales taxes in its home market. Excluding tax, gross sales were up 7 percent. Tesco’s gains were led by a 30 percent increase in trading profit in Asia. That compared with a 5.5 percent increase in Britain and 3.1 percent elsewhere in Europe.
Cisco VP to be Skype chief
Skype announced on Monday that a senior vice president of US networking giant Cisco had been named chief executive of the Internet communications service. Tony Bates, who will join the company at the end of this month, replaces Josh Silverman, who has been credited with helping fuel the rapid expansion of Luxembourg-based Skype since taking over as CEO in February 2008. In addition to becoming CEO, Bates will join the board of directors of Skype, the Luxembourg-based company said in a statement. At Cisco, Bates most recently headed the company’s enterprise, commercial and small business division.
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
‘ONE-STOCK SHOW’: Turnover hit an all-time high as TSMC continued to determine the local market’s direction and surpassed Visa in market capitalization The TAIEX early yesterday hit an all-time intraday high on the back of soaring Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) shares, before tumbling back to the previous day’s close as the contract chipmaker could not single-handedly prop up the index. The TAIEX rose more than 400 points in the first 20 minutes of trading to hit a record 13,031.7 points, but later pared its gains to close down 0.01 percent at 12,586.73. Turnover was NT$343.252 billion (US$11.63 billion), the highest in the Taiwan Stock Exchange’s history. TSMC continued to dictate the market’s direction, as its early surge by the daily
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
MediaTek Inc (聯發科) has hired a former US Department of Commerce official to help it navigate worsening US-China tensions that have already ensnared its customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Patrick Wilson, who most recently served as director of the department’s Office of Business Liaison, has been appointed vice president of government affairs at MediaTek USA to lead its public policy initiatives, the chip designer said in a draft press statement seen by Bloomberg News. Wilson previously worked at the Semiconductor Industry Association, where he led the trade group’s dealings with the US federal government. Technology companies with ties to or operations in China