POSCO’s Q3 profit falls
South Korea’s top steelmaker, POSCO, reported an 8.6 percent fall in third-quarter net profit yesterday, blaming the higher cost of raw materials. Net profit for July to last month fell to 1.044 trillion won (US$923 million) from 1.142 trillion won a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Operating profit rose 9.1 percent to 1.111 trillion won year-on-year, while sales were up 24 percent at 8.524 trillion won. “Higher raw materials costs restricted operating profit so we will focus on reducing input costs further,” the steelmaker said in a statement.
India grants RIM extension
India has given BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) an extended deadline of Jan. 31 to provide its intelligence agencies a way of accessing all its services, a report said yesterday. Citing a home ministry note, the Economic Times newspaper said the government had decided to extend the original Oct. 31 deadline by 90 days. It will be RIM’s third reprieve as it seeks to end a three-year standoff with the Indian security agencies which have threatened to shut down services offered on its handsets unless they are given access to secure, encrypted data.
Industrial output rises 5.6%
India’s industrial output rose just 5.6 percent year-on-year in August, a sharp decline from a revised 15.2 percent surge the previous month, official data showed yesterday. The figure was well below economists’ forecasts of a 9.9 percent expansion in output and the 10.6 percent growth posted in August last year. Manufacturing, which has an 80 percent weight in the industrial output index, grew 5.9 percent, compared with 10.6 percent in August last year, the federal statistics office said in a statement.
Confidence index drops
Japanese household sentiment slid for a third month last month, adding to signs of a slowdown in domestic demand. The confidence index dropped to 41.2 from 42.4 in August, the Cabinet Office said yesterday in Tokyo. A number blow 50 means pessimists outnumber optimists. The report underscores concern that personal consumption will slow in the coming months as government stimulus measures aimed at encouraging consumers to buy cars and electronics fade.
China to resume oil imports
An Argentine official said Monday that China had agreed to lift its suspension of soybean oil imports from the South American nation. “We have information that [the Chinese] are going to allow Argentine shipments of soybean oil,” Argentine Agriculture Minister Julian Dominguez told the state news agency Telam. China halted oil shipments in April of the commodity. Officials never provided an explanation for the suspension, but said it was related to Chinese health concerns.
IPO could raise US$4bn
Petronas Chemicals Bhd, the petrochemicals unit of Malaysia’s state oil company, may raise as much as US$4 billion in the Southeast Asian nation’s biggest initial public offer (IPO), said two people familiar with the matter. Banks advising on the sale set an indicative price of 5.20 ringgit (US$1.67) per share, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The company had originally planned to raise about US$2 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said in June.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be