HP shakes up board
Hewlett-Packard Co’s (HP) decision to replace a third of its board of directors is the latest milestone in a marathon management makeover that the technology icon hopes will allow it to move on after a series of management scandals. The shake-up announced on Thursday is the first sweeping leadership change under HP’s new CEO Leo Apotheker and chairman Ray Lane. They were hired three months ago to draw up fresh battle plans for the world’s biggest technology company by revenue. HP was roiled by the abrupt ouster of former CEO Mark Hurd and is trying to find its bearings in new markets far afield from its mainstay computer and printer businesses. Hurd’s forced exit last August angered many shareholders, who saw billions of their dollars evaporate on the stock market.
Spain wants more listings
Spain is planning to force its regional savings banks to become conventional banks and seek stock market listings, a source familiar with the matter said. The state-backed bank restructuring fund (FROB) would then take stakes in the banks that fail to attract private investment, the source said. The debt-laden savings banks and a possibly expensive rescue are seen as major risks for the Spanish government as it aggressively cuts its budget deficit. The Bank of Spain and the government are at odds over whether a change in law is required to speed the reform of regional banks, separating their financial businesses and social activities, El Pais newspaper reported. The government will announce a change in law to speed their reform before the end of the month, the paper said, citing sources close to the Bank of Spain.
Japan investing in Bulgaria
Toshiba and Tokyo Electric Power will team up with the Japanese government to build one of the world’s largest solar power stations in Bulgaria, the Nikkei Shimbun reported yesterday. The plant will be built in the eastern city of Yambol by March next year at a cost of more than ￥100 billion (US$1.2 billion), the report said. As an EU member, Bulgaria needs quickly to bolster its sources of renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions. By tapping Japanese technology, Bulgaria aims to pave the way for obtaining 16 percent of its power from renewable energy sources by 2020, up from about 7 percent now, the report said. CEZ Group, the seventh-ranked European power utility, will also take part in the joint venture, contributing as much as ￥20 billion, the report said.
BA ready for walkout
British Airways PLC chief executive Willie Walsh said the carrier was well prepared for another round of walkouts by cabin crew should a union vote ending yesterday favor a strike. “We’re confident that with the contingency plan that we’ve developed, which includes training further people to serve as cabin crew, we will be able to continue flying,” Walsh said in New York on Thursday. “What we’re seeing is that the vast majority of our crew wants it over with.” Europe’s third-largest airline would be able to tap other employees, including pilots, to take over flight attendant duty to execute most of its short-haul flights if the strike goes ahead, adding that there is enough personnel for long-distance flights. The carrier rented planes and trained staff from other parts of the company to act as emergency crew when flight attendants walked out for a total of 22 days in five strikes last year in a dispute over pay and staffing levels.
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
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
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to