Japan fuel terminal reopens
Exxon Mobil Corp says its Japanese division has reopened its Shiogama Terminal, enabling the delivery of increased fuel supplies to the Tohoku area of Japan that was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami. The oil company said on Wednesday that the terminal received its first shipment of 1 million liters of gasoline and 1 million liters of kerosene on Tuesday. Exxon Mobil affiliate refiner TonenGeneral Sekiyu K.K. says the reopening restores the most critical link to the affected area. Exxon Mobil has made its terminal available for use by other companies with ready fuel supplies. The company says its four Japan Group refineries are now fully operational and running ahead of normal rates to meet increased fuel demand.
CEO says prices too high
Takeover prices for some emerging-market telecom assets are too expensive to tempt UK mobile giant Vodafone, its chief executive told German financial magazine Capital. “The sums demanded are much too high. We were interested in some companies in Africa — but we left it,” CEO Vittorio Colao said in comments published on Wednesday. Colao said Vodafone would not follow Deutsche Telekom’s lead, which decided this week to sell its US mobile unit to AT&T, and dispose of its stake in Verizon Wireless. “I see no reason to part ways with this excellent company in the current situation,” he said.
Inflation hits two-year high
Vietnam’s inflation rose to a two-year high this month, official estimates showed yesterday, as the government shifts from a longstanding focus on growth toward stabilizing its economy. The consumer price index (CPI) is expected to jump 13.9 percent year-on-year this month, the General Statistics Office reported. Rising inflation has become a key policy concern for Asian governments but consumer prices in Vietnam have risen faster than in neighboring countries. Average CPI in the first quarter rose by 12.79 percent against the same period last year, led by a 17 percent increase in food, the statistics office said.
Kingfisher profits rise
Kingfisher, Europe’s biggest home-improvements retailer, said yesterday that annual net profits rose 27.5 percent to ￡491 million (US$796 million) in 2010-2011. Kingfisher, which owns the B&Q chain in Britain and Castorama in France, said its profit after tax for the 12 months to Jan. 29 compared with net income of ￡385 million during the equivalent period in 2009-2010. “We have delivered another year of strong profit growth and cash generation in what continue to be challenging times for our customers around the world,” chief executive Ian Cheshire said in Kingfisher’s results statement.
Micron sales top estimates
Micron Technology Inc, the largest US maker of computer-memory chips, posted second-quarter sales and profit that beat analysts’ estimates on increasing demand for chips used to store data on mobile phones and tablets. Revenue climbed 15 percent to US$2.26 billion in the period that ended March 3, Micron said in a statement on Wednesday. That compared with US$2.1 billion, the average of predictions compiled by Bloomberg. Micron’s net income fell 80 percent to US$72 million, or US$0.07 a share, from US$365 million, or US$0.39, a year earlier, the company said. Analysts on average projected per-share
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
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,
‘SWARM TECH’: Joint venture FARobot is to develop autonomous mobile robots that would first be deployed in Hon Hai’s factories to optimize production efficiency Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Adlink Technology Inc (凌華科技) have formed a robotic venture that aims to use “swarm technology” to create robots that can communicate with one another on the factory floor to optimize production efficiency. Hon Hai is Apple Inc’s leading iPhone assembler and the world’s largest contract electronics maker, while Adlink supplies industrial computers and Internet of Things solutions. Through a subsidiary, Hyield Venture Capital Co (鴻揚創投), Hon Hai holds a 51 percent stake in autonomous mobile robot (AMR) developer FARobot (法博智能移動), while Adlink owns the remaining 49 percent. Together, the two companies put up NT$200