Facebook tests payments
Facebook says it plans to test a mobile payments service that lets users make purchases inside mobile applications using payment information they have added to their account on the social network. Facebook is working on a “very small test” and the company says there is no set schedule for making the service available to users. The service would use payment information that shoppers store on Facebook to automatically complete checkout forms of certain mobile apps. Then, the app would process the purchase. Facebook says the company has a “great relationship with PayPal” and the service will not involve moving payment processing “away from an app’s current payments provider, such as PayPal.”
GM shuts down in Egypt
General Motors Co (GM) has closed its operations in Egypt indefinitely because of violence in the country. The company said on Thursday it closed its plant in the Cairo suburb of 6th October City, where it makes cars, light trucks and minibuses. It also closed its offices in Cairo. GM has around 1,400 workers in Egypt. In 1983, it became the first private automaker to establish operations in the country. GM said in a statement that its chief concern is for the safety and security of its employees.
Korean Air pays US$65m
South Korea’s largest carrier, Korean Air (KAL), said yesterday it had agreed to pay US$65 million to settle a class-action lawsuit by US passengers over alleged price fixing. Korean Air said it would pay US$39 million in cash and US$26 million in coupons to passengers who have accused the airline of conspiring with local rival Asiana Airlines to establish artificially high prices for travel between South Korea and the US group of passengers launched a lawsuit after the US Department of Justice slapped Korean Air with a US$300 million fine and Asiana with US$50 million over anti-trust violations in 2000.
Moller-Maersk profit dented
Denmark’s shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk says a drop in freight rates and lower oil production dented its second-quarter profit. Net profit in the period fell 13 percent to 4.9 billion kroner (US$856 million) compared with a year earlier, while revenue dropped 9 percent to 81 billion kroner. The world’s largest container shipping company cautioned that this year is “subject to considerable uncertainty, not least due to developments in the global economy.” It expects full-year net profit to be around US$3.3 billion, below last year’s result of US$4 billion. Maersk shares fell 1.4 percent in early trading yesterday in Copenhagen to 44,760 kroner.
Spain’s richest woman dies
The Spanish company that owns the Zara chain of clothing stores says co-founder Rosalia Mera has died. She was 69 and Spain’s richest woman. Inditex SA did not give details in its statement yesterday about how she died. However, Spanish media widely reported that Mera suffered a stroke while on vacation on the Mediterranean island of Menorca and died on Thursday night in a hospital that she was transported to in northwestern Spain. Mera was a seamstress who helped build Inditex from the clothing store she started with her then-husband, Armancio Ortega. Mera held 5.1 percent of Inditex, and her fortune was estimated by Forbes at US$6.1 billion. The magazine says she was the world’s 195th-richest person.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a