Car production to normalize
Toyota’s global car production, disrupted by parts shortages after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, will likely return to normal two to three months earlier than expected, a report said yesterday. The nation’s top business daily Nikkei said Toyota’s output will normalize earlier than the end of this year as parts shortages are easing. The paper didn’t cite any sources. Toyota Motor Corp spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto could not confirm the report. However, she said Toyota was doing its utmost to return to full production.
Exports help trade surplus
Sydney yesterday reported a trade surplus for March as it bounced back from a deficit in February on the back of a boom in exports, adding weight to expectations of a possible interest rate rise. Overseas shipments were up 9 percent in adjusted terms in March, while imports gained 1 percent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said. It put the country’s trade balance into a A$1.74 billion (US$1.87 billion) surplus, from a downwardly revised deficit of A$87 million in February. Exports surged to A$25 billion, led by a 15 percent gain in iron ore, while imports were boosted by a 23 percent increase in gas.
S&P cuts rating further
Standard and Poor’s cut Greece’s credit rating further into junk territory on Monday, reflecting growing doubts that the eurozone’s most fragile economy can manage its debt without imposing losses on private bondholders. “In our view, there is increased risk that Greece will take steps to restructure the terms of its commercial debt, including its previously issued government bonds,” the agency said in a statement, warning that more downgrades could come. Moody’s said it might cut its Greek rating by more than one notch while Fitch analyst Chris Pryce said the agency was “actively reviewing” Greece’s rating.
Tencent buys Huayi stake
Chinese Internet giant Tencent (騰訊) has bought a 4.6 percent stake in Chinese film and TV producer Huayi Brothers Media (華誼兄弟) to look at possible ways to combine film and new media, the firms said yesterday. Tencent bought 27.8 million shares in Shenzhen-listed Huayi for about 450 million yuan (US$69.2 million), or 16 yuan each, according to a statement filed with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange by Huayi. “The strategic investment in Huayi is the first step of cooperation between two parties,” Tencent president Martin Lau (劉熾平) said in a separate statement, without elaborating on how they planned to integrate the two media.
BYD listing approved
Chinese car maker BYD (比亞迪), backed by US billionaire Warren Buffett, has received the green light for a stock listing, China’s securities regulator has said. The China Securities Regulatory Commission announced the approval in a statement late on Monday after a meeting assessing the planned listing on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The company, already listed in Hong Kong, plans to issue up to 79 million A-shares in the initial public offering (IPO), or 3.36 percent of its enlarged share capital, according to a draft prospectus. The proceeds from the IPO will provide 2.19 billion yuan (US$337.3 million) for a lithium-ion battery project, a research and development center and expansion of its product line, which require total investments of around 5.4 billion yuan, it said.