Global growth to slow
Global growth is expected to lag this year and next, but for the first time in a long time, it is not all Europe’s fault. That is the view of a leading international economic body, which said on Tuesday that a slowdown in emerging economies and the potential for another US budget crisis are the main sources of concern for the global economy. In its half-yearly forecast, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development lowered its forecast for global growth this year to 2.7 percent and 3.6 percent for next.
Commerce secretary resigns
Feared Secretary of Commerce Guillermo Moreno has quit. Moreno was a pitbull for President Cristina Fernandez. He tried to jail economists for publishing independent inflation numbers, and broke up board meetings of the opposition Grupo Clarin. Executives have accused him of blocking their imports, freezing their prices and making their corporate lives miserable until they agreed to support the government’s economic policies. Presidential spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro says Fernandez accepted the resignation on Tuesday.
Yahoo boosts buyback
Yahoo boosted its share buyback plan by US$5 billion, returning more cash to shareholders as chief executive Marissa Mayer seeks to revive growth at the largest US Internet portal. Yahoo is also to raise US$1 billion in convertible debt funding maturing in 2018, the Sunnyvale, California-based company said in a statement on Tuesday. Yahoo has made US$5.3 billion in buybacks since January last year, including US$1.7 billion in the third quarter, the company said on its earnings conference call on Oct. 15.
GSK to sell part of shares
British drugs firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) yesterday announced that it would sell one-third of its shareholding in South African company Aspen for ￡425 million (US$685 million). “GSK has agreed to the sale of 28.2 million ordinary shares in Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd” via a placing of shares to institutional investors, it said in a statement. Following settlement of the sale, GSK will hold 56.5 million ordinary shares in Aspen, representing 12.4 percent of the issued share capital.
Johnson & Johnson settles
Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday said that it would pay US$2.5 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits brought by hip replacement patients who accuse the company of selling faulty implants that led to injuries and additional surgeries. The agreement presented in US District Court in Toledo, Ohio, is one of the largest for the medical device industry. It resolves an estimated 8,000 cases of patients who had to have the company’s metal ball-and-socket hip implant removed or replaced. The deal provides about US$250,000 per patient and covers those who had their implants removed or replaced before Aug. 31 this year.
Trader jailed for scheme
A former trader was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison on Tuesday for an unauthorized purchase of about US$1 billion in Apple Inc stock that eventually led to the demise of financial services firm Rochdale Securities. David Miller, 41, was sentenced by US District Judge Robert Chatigny in Hartford, Connecticut, seven months after pleading guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be
Yageo Corp (國巨), the world’s third-largest supplier of multilayer ceramic capacitors, has formed a strategic alliance with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) to develop key electronic components for electric vehicles and digital healthcare, it said yesterday. The alliance is to help Yageo boost its revenue from high-end components for vehicles and industrial, medical and aerospace devices, as well as those used in 5G and Internet-of-Things devices, the company said. The companies signed the strategic alliance agreement at Yageo’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店). Their cooperation is to start this quarter, the companies said in a joint statement. “Through the cooperation
SUPPLY CONSTRAINTS: The transferred orders might not provide an immediate revenue boost given local chipmakers’ high utilization rates, a senior analyst said Shares of local contract chipmakers yesterday rose as much as the 10 percent daily limit, as investors bet on orders being transferred from Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際) after the US imposed export restrictions on the Chinese chipmaker. United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) shares soared 10 percent to close at NT$27.5 as 380 million shares changed hands on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. UMC is the world’s No. 3 foundry by revenue, followed by SMIC, according to data from market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技). UMC has product and customer portfolios similar to those of SMIC, TrendForce said, adding that UMC offers 14-nanometer and