BlackBerry debt sold
Manulife Financial Corp, Canada’s largest insurer by market value, agreed to invest US$70 million in BlackBerry Ltd’s US$1 billion debt sale, while Brookfield Asset Management Inc and Markel Corp reduced their roles. Brookfield lowered its stake to US$10 million from US$50 million, and Markel cut its investment to US$70 million from US$100 million, according to a filing yesterday. Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, BlackBerry’s largest investor, orchestrated the US$1 billion debt sale this week after deciding not to proceed with a tentative US$4.7 billion bid to buy the struggling smartphone maker. Investors in the convertible debentures also include Qatar Holding LLC and Canso Investment Counsel Ltd. The move to borrow the funds underscores BlackBerry’s deteriorating cash situation. Its cash and short-term investments fell by almost US$500 million last quarter to US$2.3 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Disney profits rise 12%
Walt Disney Co, the world’s largest entertainment company, said fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose 12 percent, beating analysts’ estimates as the company’s theme parks and consumer products boosted income. Net income grew to US$1.39 billion, or US$0.77 a share, from US$1.24 billion, or US$0.68, a year earlier, Disney said yesterday in a statement, topping the US$0.76 average of 27 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue increased 7.3 percent to US$11.6 billion in the period ended Sept. 28, beating the US$11.4 billion average of estimates. Investments in new attractions spurred higher guest spending and occupancy at Disney’s US resorts, letting it raise ticket prices.
MetLife, AIG fined US$100m
New York officials will seek substantially more than US$100 million to resolve a probe into whether units sold to MetLife Inc by American International Group Inc (AIG) lacked proper licenses and provided misleading information, a person familiar with the matter said. Both companies will probably need to pay a portion of the fine, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The person could not give a timeline for when the fine may be issued. AIG is responding to requests from the New York Department of Financial Services, the top financial regulator in the state, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for information about the units, Alico and Delaware American, which were sold to MetLife in 2010, the insurer said in an Oct. 31 filing.
3D printer makes metal gun
A Californian engineering company says it has produced the first metal gun made on a 3D printer, releasing a video showing the firearm scoring repeated bullseyes in successful tests. However, Solid Concepts, which describes itself as a world leader of 3D printing services, said making the classic 1911 shotgun did not come cheap, requiring a lot more than a souped-up desktop printer. “It functions beautifully,” it said of the gun, in a blog accompanying the video clips. “Our resident gun expert has fired 50 successful rounds and hit a few bull’s eyes at over 30 yards [27.4m].” The gun comprises more than 30 3D-printed components, including stainless steel and other metal parts.
‘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