Sharp shares jump on talks
Sharp Corp shares jumped yesterday on a report that the embattled Japanese electronics maker is in talks with US tech giants Apple, Google and Microsoft on forming business and capital tie-ups. The maker of Aquos-brand products closed 6.2 percent higher at ￥172 in Tokyo trade. Sharp was talking to the US firms about supplying them with small and medium-sized power-saving LCD panels for laptops, tablet computers and smartphones, as well as asking them about injecting fresh funds into the struggling firm, Kyodo news agency said.
UBS AG to lay off 10,000
Swiss banking giant UBS AG announced massive layoffs yesterday, along with huge losses in its third-quarter results, saying it aims to trim as many as 10,000 employees, or about 15 percent of its staff, to drastically shrink its ailing investment bank. Switzerland’s biggest bank said that as part of the cost-cutting drive to boost profitability, it “is likely to have a headcount of around 54,000” by 2015, down from its current 64,000 employees in 57 countries. The bank posted a net profit loss of 2.17 billion Swiss francs (US$2.31 billion), compared with a profit of SF1.02 billion during the same three-month period through September last year.
BP profit, dividends jump
Oil company BP has posted a solid increase in third-quarter profits that has allowed it to raise its dividend substantially. BP said yesterday that its profit of US$5.5 billion more than offset the US$1.34 billion loss reported in the previous three months, when the company wrote down the value of some assets. It was also 5 percent higher than last year’s equivalent of US$5.2 billion. Revenue of US$93.1 billion was also down from US$97.7 billion a year earlier. BP raised its quarterly dividend 12.5 percent to US$.0.9 per share.
Hitachi to buy Horizon
Japan’s Hitachi Ltd has agreed to buy British atomic power company Horizon Nuclear Power Ltd from its German owners for ￡696 million (US$1.12 billion). The companies announced the deal yesterday, ending months of uncertainty after the 50-50 owners of Horizon, RWE AG and E.ON AG, abandoned plans to build nuclear power plants in Britain. Hitachi, Japan’s largest electrical machinery manufacturer, said it would continue to pursue plans to build new nuclear power stations at Wylfa in Wales and Oldbury-on-Severn in southwestern England. It plans to complete the acquisition by next month.
Marriott doubling Asia hotels
Hotel operator Marriott International Inc said yesterday it planned to more than double the number of its properties in Asia in the next four years. Marriott said it expected to add 143 hotels to its 132 properties in Asia for a total of more than 80,000 rooms in 16 countries. The company said its Asian workforce should grow by 36,000 people to a total of 76,000 by 2016. Marriott’s brands include Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott and Renaissance.
Baidu profits rise 60%
Chinese search engine operator Baidu Inc (百度) said yesterday its latest quarterly profit rose 60 percent, but revenue growth slowed as the economy cooled. The Beijing-based company said that profit for the three months ending Sept. 30 was 3 billion yuan (US$478.6 million). Revenue rose 49.7 percent to 6.3 billion yuan, but that growth was down from the previous quarter’s 60 percent.
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
Nintendo Co is raising its target for Switch production to about 25 million units this fiscal year, people familiar with the matter said, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps lifting demand and component shortages ease. The Kyoto, Japan-based company, which in April hiked orders to 22 million units by March next year, is asking partners to tack on another few million units, said the people, who did not want to be identified discussing internal goals. Assembly partners plan to work at maximum capacity through December. The new production target suggests that Nintendo is likely to outperform its Switch sales forecast of 19 million
NERVOUS MARKET: With the infection sources still unknown for three COVID-19 cases that had departed Taiwan, investors have become uneasy, an analyst said Local shares yesterday came under heavy downward pressure, falling more than 1 percent as renewed fears over a possible increase in domestic COVID-19 infections hit market sentiment after the nation last week reported a case related to a Belgian national. Selling focused on the bellwether electronics sector, led by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), which pushed down the broader market as investors ignored gains posted by tech heavyweights on the US market at the end of last week, dealers said. The TAIEX closed down 151.77 points, or 1.2 percent, at 12,513.03, on turnover of NT$231.43 billion (US$7.84 billion). Foreign