HTC’s Chou to speak at fair
HTC Corp (宏達電) chief executive Peter Chou (周永明) will deliver a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, next month, according to the organizers. The MWC, the world’s largest mobile technology fair, will cover topics such as mobile operator strategies in developed and developing markets, cloud computing, connected consumers, mobile money, mobile operating systems and applications and next-generation networks and technologies, the GSM Association (GSMA) said recently. Other top executives speaking at the exhibition are ARM Holdings CEO Warren East, Best Buy Co CEO Brian Dunn, Electronic Arts Inc CEO John Riccitiello, Google Inc executive chairman Eric Schmidt and Nokia Corp president and CEO Stephen Elop, the GSMA said.
Ma plans free trade in south
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Wednesday said a free-trade area would be set up soon in the south, as the government begins moves to joining a trans-Pacific free-trade alliance. “In order to follow the trend of regional economic integration, the government has been pushing hard for free trade in the hope that Taiwan can join the Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP] in 10 years,” Ma said during a visit to Greater Kaohsiung. He said some free-trade areas — which allow the tax-free flow of capital and goods — had to be set up in the country before it can achieve its goal of joining the TPP. The first such free-trade area will be established in Kaohsiung, he said in a statement released by the Presidential Office.
HK exports rise 7.4 percent
Hong Kong’s exports grew a more-than-estimated 7.4 percent last month, supported by Chinese demand as shipments to the US and the UK slid. Exports rose to HK$271.8 billion (US$35 billion) after a 2 percent increase in November, the government said on its Web site yesterday. Imports increased 8.1 percent from a year earlier, leaving a trade deficit of HK$48.9 billion, the highest since at least 1952, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shipments to the US fell 0.7 percent last month from a year earlier, while those to the UK tumbled 27 percent. Exports to China jumped 14 percent and those to Japan increased 9 percent. Expert growth last month exceeded the median 3.5 percent estimate of nine economists in a Bloomberg News survey. For the full year, Hong Kong’s exports rose 10.1 percent from a year earlier, the government said.
KDDI net profit drops 17%
Japanese telecoms operator KDDI yesterday said net profit for the December quarter fell 17 percent on falling income from voice calls, but it raised its full-year revenue outlook thanks to iPhone 4S sales. The country’s No. 2 telecoms firm said its net profit for the fiscal third quarter dropped to ￥54.2 billion (US$698 million) from ￥65.7 billion in the same period a year earlier. Operating profit for the quarter fell 5.4 percent to ￥117 billion from ￥124 billion a year earlier, it said. However, it did say revenue for the three months increased 5.7 percent to ￥902 billion on the back of increased data traffic because of solid demand for smartphones. The firm started selling iPhone 4S in October, becoming the second Japanese carrier to offer the popular gadget after its smaller rival Softbank.
H&M profit slides 2.4%
Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M), Europe’s second-largest clothing retailer, reported a fifth consecutive drop in quarterly profit as the cost of making garments increased and sales growth slowed. Net income slipped 2.4 percent to 5.36 billion kronor (US$797 million) in the three months ended Nov. 30, Stockholm-based H&M said in a statement yesterday. The average estimate was 5.37 billion kronor, according to a Bloomberg survey of 14 analysts. H&M fell as much as 2.1 percent in Stockholm trading as the retailer said the macroeconomic climate would remain “tough” in many markets this year. Increased cotton and labor costs in Asia have weighed on profit at the company, which described the situation in sourcing markets as “challenging.”