Tsang warns of inflation
Financial Secretary John Tsang (曾俊華) yesterday said the economy bounced back strongly last year, expanding by 6.8 percent thanks to strong growth in China and the rest of Asia. However, he forecast inflation of 4.5 percent this year, while GDP growth would ease to between 4 percent and 5 percent. He said the government would release more land for development to reduce the risk of a property bubble. As Tseng spoke, protesters outside the Legislative Council urged the government do more to ease the wealth gap.
PetroChina pays Quito
Ecuador has received a billion dollars from PetroChina (中石油) as prepayment for crude oil sales, Ecuadorean Finance Minister Patricio Rivero said on Tuesday. Rivero did not say how much oil was involved but that it was a two-year contract that would begin in August. It was the second time Quito used the prepayment regime with China. Ecuador pumped 486,000 barrels per day last year of which 62 percent were moved by Petroecuador and the rest by foreign firms such as China’s CNPC (中國石油天然氣).
Grupo Carso buys stake
The Grupo Carso consortium controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim said on Tuesday it was buying a 70 percent stake in an oil exploration and production company. Carso says it has reached an agreement to take a majority stake in Tabasco Oil Co LLC, which has an exploration concession on a field in Colombia. The consortium did not say how much it was paying for the stake.
Imerys eyes Rio Tinto’s talc
Global mining giant Rio Tinto said yesterday that it has received an offer for its talc business, Luzenac, from French industrial minerals group Imerys. “Rio Tinto has received a binding offer from Imerys to acquire its talc business for an enterprise value of US$340 million,” the British-based resources company said in a statement. Luzenac is the world’s biggest producer of talc, a mineral used in a vast array of products, including animal feed, cosmetics, fertilizers, paints, pharmaceuticals, plastics, roofing — and talcum powder.
No windfall for Lehman
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc’s hurried sale of much of its US operations to Barclays PLC at the height of the financial crisis was fair, and its bankruptcy estate is not entitled to recover an US$11 billion “windfall,” US Bankruptcy Judge James Peck ruled. The long-awaited ruling followed a trial in which Lehman said Barclays got a sweetheart deal in acquiring its US investment banking and brokerage operations. Lehman agreed to sell that business for about US$1.85 billion on Sept. 20, 2008, just five days after the company filed for Chapter 11.
Moller-Maersk profits up
Danish container shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S yesterday said it made 26.5 billion kroner (US$4.84 billion) in net profit last year. It said earnings were boosted by rising freight rates and higher volumes in its container activities. Revenue soared to 315.4 billion kroner from 260 billion kroner a year earlier.
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
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
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