Firm sees earnings rise
Wells Fargo on Friday reported a 22 percent increase in quarterly earnings on improving credit quality, but said its pipeline of new mortgages was slowing. Net income for the quarter rose to US$5.2 billion on US$21.3 billion in revenues, compared with US$4.2 billion on revenues of US$21.6 billion in the year-earlier period. The bank, the largest US mortgage originator, reported improving credit quality as the housing market steadies. Wells Fargo reduced its provision expense to US$1.2 billion in the quarter, from US$2 billion in the year-earlier quarter. The bank’s non-performing assets declined to US$22.9 billion, compared with US$26.6 billion a year ago. The San Francisco banking giant reported US$800 billion in loans outstanding, up US$33.5 billion from the year-ago quarter.
Greifeld bonus halved
NASDAQ OMX Group CEO Robert Greifeld, who came under fire for Facebook’s botched initial public offering last year, had his bonus cut by more than half last year, but his overall compensation for the year still rose 11 percent. Greifeld received compensation totaling US$8 million, according to an Associated Press analysis of the New York company’s annual proxy filing. That is up from US$7.2 million in 2011. Greifeld’s salary for last year was US$1 million, the same as in 2011. His performance-based cash bonus dropped 62 percent to US$1.4 million, but was offset by a more than doubling of his stock awards to US$5.6 million. Payments in the form of perks fell 16 percent to US$77,742.
JAB to buy coffee firm
German investor Joh A Benckiser (JAB) is to buy the owner of Douwe Egberts coffee in a 7.5 billion euro (US$9.8 billion) deal to create a global hot drinks empire aimed at taking on market leaders Nestle and Mondelez International. D.E. Master Blenders 1753, the Dutch owner of Douwe Egberts coffee and Pickwick tea, said on Friday it had reached conditional agreement on a 12.50 euros per share cash takeover offer from a group of investors led by JAB. JAB, the investment vehicle of the billionaire Reimann family, has been building a hot drinks business in a bid to tap strong growth driven by new products, such as single-serve coffee brewers, and demand from emerging markets.
US sales in March contract
US retail sales contracted last month for the second time in three months and consumer confidence tumbled this month, a sign tax hikes early this year stole momentum from the economy. Sales fell 0.4 percent last month, missing analysts’ expectations for a flat reading, US Department of Commerce data showed on Friday. The data suggests consumer spending was considerably weaker in the first quarter than analysts previously believed, and many cut economic growth forecasts for the period. Prior reports had made consumers look relatively resilient despite an increase in tax rates in January on most Americans. “The payroll tax increase is hurting,” said Ian Shepherdson, an economist at Pantheon Macroeconomic Advisors in White Plains, New York.
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) yesterday said that its insurance unit would adjust its investment portfolio after being banned from buying new stocks a day earlier by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC). “We will research what we can do based on the commission’s specific instructions after we receive the regulator’s formal documents,” Shin Kong Financial spokesman Sunny Hsu (徐順鋆) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The commission on Tuesday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$941,722) for reckless investment, and demanded that the insurer reduce its overseas investment ratio from 43 percent to 39 percent. The fine would affect
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to
DIGITAL COMMERCE: In 2016, only 2 percent of orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that has risen to 10 percent, Foodpanda Taiwan Co operations director Nick Yu said Online food delivery platforms have seen explosive growth in Taiwan this year, helped by business opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, company executives said at a digital commerce conference in Taipei yesterday. When the threat of COVID-19 kept people from going out to eat, more people experimented with ordering food deliveries online, Foodpanda Taiwan Co Ltd (富胖達) operations director Nick Yu (余岳勳) said. Foodpanda started operations in Taiwan in 2012. “We experienced 5,000 percent growth in the past 24 months,” Yu said. “That’s more than the previous six years combined.” In 2016, only 2 percent of food orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that