Firm tries to end dispute
Platinum giant Lonmin said on Friday it was committed to reaching a deal within days to end a labor dispute that has killed 44 people at a South African mine as authorities revived mediation efforts. Lonmin, the world’s third-largest platinum firm, said it would spend the weekend persuading the workers to return to the job on Monday, following the nation’s deadliest police action since apartheid.
YPF in talks with Chevron
Nationalized Argentine oil firm YPF said on Friday that it held talks with US company Chevron on cooperation in the development of Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas reserves in western Argentina. YPF chief executive Miguel Galuccio discussed working together on tertiary recovery projects and unconventional deposits in the Neuquen province oil and gas basin with Chevron’s Latin America and Africa director, Ali Moshiri, the Argentine company said. In May the Argentine government seized YPF from Repsol, accusing the Spanish oil giant of allowing oil and gas production to lapse, forcing the country’s oil import bill to rise.
European fund faces delay
The European Commission has asked Spain to delay by another week the plans to create a “bad bank,” a fund that would pool much of its financial sector’s soured property investments, so that experts in Brussels can review the project, the government in Madrid said on Friday. The planned legislation was initially scheduled to be approved at Friday’s Cabinet meeting, but will now be cleared at the next ministers’ meeting on Aug. 31, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said. The banks, eight of which have been nationalized, are loaded with more than 176 billion euros (US$223 billion) in bad real estate loans and other investments following the collapse of the property market in 2008.
Jewelry firm fined for fraud
A Hong Kong jewelry company has been fined US$800,000 for defrauding US Customs of more than US$1 million. Fai Po Jewellery Co entered its plea and was sentenced on Friday in the US District Court in Anchorage. The company must also pay just over US$1 million in restitution and the costs of the investigation.
The US Attorney’s office for Alaska said that the company prepared two invoices for every shipment of gold to US buyers. One with the true amount was sent to the buyer, but a smaller invoice that undervalued the goods was sent with the shipment through customs.
Chip sales set to slow
IHS iSuppli said on Friday that global semiconductor chip shipments are set to fall by 0.1 percent this year. That is down from a previous forecast for growth of up to 3 percent. It is the first annual decline since recession-colored 2009. ISuppli said shipments slowed noticeably compared to normal seasonal patterns in the April to June period. The weak global economy is one culprit, but most of the slowdown is in chips for PCs, iSuppli said. The company predicts better luck for the high-tech industry next year, projecting a 9 percent jump in chip shipments.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported that revenue last month expanded 25 percent annually, but fell 12.8 percent month-on-month to NT$105.96 billion (US$3.59 billion). In the first seven months of this year, the chipmaker’s revenue surged 33.6 percent to NT$727.26 billion, compared with NT$544.46 billion a year earlier. TSMC has said it aims to grow its revenue by more than 20 percent this year. The company has since May 15 stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies Co (華為), its second-biggest customer after Apple Inc, due to the US’ restrictions on exports containing US technologies. TSMC has no plans to
The US stock market has been on a tear, yet the country’s economy is in the dumps. So why do so many people believe — undoubtedly incorrectly — that the stock market has decoupled from reality? The economy many people experience, while bleak, is local, personal and, for the most part, either not publicly traded or plays only a small part in the stock market’s moves. To explain why these personal experiences have so little effect on equity markets, we must look more closely at the market role of the weakest industry sectors. The surprising conclusion: The most visible and economically vulnerable