New limits on FX forwards
Seoul yesterday said it was lowering the ceiling on foreign exchange forward positions by foreign and local banks to ease currency volatility after a sharp appreciation in the South Korean won. The finance ministry said local branches of foreign banks would have to limit forward deals to 150 percent of their equity capital, down from the current 200 percent. The ceiling for domestic banks will be lowered to 30 percent from 40 percent. The new restrictions will come into force on Friday, but with a one-month grace period, the ministry said in a joint statement with the central bank and financial regulators.
Industrial firms’ profits rise
Chinese industrial companies’ profit gains surged last month and turned positive for the year, as factory output accelerated and export growth picked up following a seven-quarter economic slowdown. Net income gained 20.5 percent from a year earlier to 500.1 billion yuan (US$80.4 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday in Beijing. Profits in September rose 7.8 percent, the first gain in six months. Industrial companies’ profits in the first 10 months of the year rose 0.5 percent to 4 trillion yuan, according to the statement. That compares with a 1.8 percent drop in the first nine months of the year and a 25.3 percent gain in the January-October period last year.
Ericsson sues Samsung
Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson yesterday said that it was suing South Korean rival Samsung in a US court for violating patents. “The dispute concerns both Ericsson’s patented technology that is essential to several telecommunications and networking standards used by Samsung’s products as well as other of Ericsson’s patented inventions that are frequently implemented in wireless and consumer electronics products,” the company said in a statement.
ICOA denies Google buy
A bogus news release prompted several Web sites to run incorrect articles about Google making a US$400 million acquisition of a wireless company on Monday, the target company said. “This was a hoax. We are investigating the source,” said an e-mailed statement from George Strouthopoulos, chairman and chief executive of ICOA, the wireless firm Google was purportedly acquiring. The reports began after the fake release was posted on the PRWeb site owned by the cloud software firm Vocus. “This is NOT TRUE!!” Strouthopoulos said in an e-mail. “Never had any discussions with any potential acquirers!! This is absolutely false!” He added that “someone, I guess a stock promoter with a dubious interest, is disseminating wrong, false and misleading info in the PR circles.”
Honda to boost US exports
Honda CEO Takanobu Ito wants to boost the Japanese carmaker’s exports from the US to counterbalance the effects of the strong yen, he said in an interview published on Monday. “Our US plants export just 6 percent to 7 percent of production, but they should be able to do more than that,” Ito told the Wall Street Journal. “If there’s enough demand from other regions for larger vehicles, then closer to 20 percent is conceivable.” Honda, Japan’s third-biggest automaker, exported 55,000 vehicles from North America last year.