Bank CEO bonus jumps 77%
Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan saw his compensation jump 77 percent last year as the company’s fortunes improved. Moynihan’s total compensation was US$13.1 million, according to an Associated Press calculation based on a filing made by the company on Friday. The bulk of his pay was US$11.1 million worth of stock awards granted in February last year. He also had a base salary of almost US$1.5 million. Company perks totaled US$497,751, most of which was for personal use of the company plane. Bank of America’s finances have been improving. Last year its profit more than tripled to US$10.08 billion, and it has been cutting staff and focusing on its core businesses. Its balance sheet has been improving as well. Bank of America’s board cited its improving balance sheet as a factor in Moynihan’s pay, saying the company cut long-term debt by US$25 billion last year.
Moody’s lifts Dutch outlook
Moody’s raised its credit outlook for the Netherlands and Belgium on Friday, elevating both to stable from negative as the eurozone economy improves. The Netherlands kept its top-level “Aaa” rating, while Belgium was three levels down at “Aa3.” Moody’s said the Netherlands outlook improved because it was less likely to be called on to help fund rescues of weaker eurozone countries, including troubled Italy and Spain. It also said there were signs that the country’s own domestic problems, such as weak growth and high household debt, have peaked “and are likely to evolve in a positive direction.” In addition, Moody’s said, the country’s fiscal situation has stabilized. For Belgium, Moody’s said the risk that the government would have to shoulder more liabilities in the weak banking sector had declined. Bank asset quality “should improve going forward as the Belgian economy is expected to recover, especially in light of the banks’ strong re-focus on the domestic market.”
Bombardier freezes wages
Bombardier Inc, whose delayed CSeries jet is weighing on profits, is freezing salaries for about 38,000 nonunion workers in its aerospace and transportation units worldwide as well the head office. Employees who are covered under certain local contracts, about half of Bombardier’s 76,400 workers, will not be affected. The company has already been tightening its belt, announcing in January that it was eliminating 1,700 jobs at its aerospace division, mostly in and around its headquarters in Montreal. It is also reducing training budgets and restricting business travel, encouraging employees to use videoconferencing instead, Bombardier spokeswoman Isabelle Rondeau said.
Samsung offers free music
Samsung on Friday unveiled a free music service for users of its Galaxy smartphones, entering a crowded market that includes Pandora, Spotify and Apple’s iTunes. The service, dubbed “Milk Music,” will offer about 200 ad-free radio stations to US customers with Samsung Galaxy devices. The company said the service will be offered with no log-in required and no need to browse for a specific artist or song. It will have 200 genre-based and curated stations and about 13 million songs, and like other services, it will allow six song skips per hour per station.
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
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
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