Ukraine rating revised
Standard & Poor’s revised its outlook on Ukraine to “stable” from “negative,” saying that the IMF program adopted in April has helped improve the economic situation in the country. However, the agency said that the IMF program could be impacted by geopolitical risks and a severe recession. “Full disbursement of the International Monetary Fund program and related multilateral lending should enable Ukraine to meet its external financing needs over the next year,” the ratings agency said in a statement. Standard & Poor’s also said the new government under Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk had been stable and “relatively cohesive.” The IMF’s board signed off on a US$17 billion two-year aid program for Ukraine in April to help the economy recover after months of upheaval.
US slows illegal dumping
The US Commerce Department declared on Friday that South Korean steel companies and those in seven other countries were illegally dumping low-cost steel pipes and tubing into the US construction market and would be subject to additional duties. China has been the primary target of ire among steel manufacturers in the US, having exported vast quantities of steel in the last decade. In 2010, the US levied duties on the importation of Chinese steel tubes in a major victory for the US industry. However, since that ruling, South Korea and other countries have stepped into the vacuum left by a drop in Chinese imports. Last year, South Korea exported 894,300 tonnes of steel tubes into the US at a value of more than US$800 million, according to data released by the US Commerce Department.
Affiliates to merge
Japan’s Softbank and Deutsche Telekom of Germany have reached a basic agreement for a merger between their US affiliates Sprint and T-Mobile US, the Nikkei Business Daily reported yesterday. Eight financial institutions, including Japan’s top three megabanks Mizuho, Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui, are to provide a credit line of around ￥4 trillion (US$39 billion) for Softbank’s purchase of T-Mobile through Sprint, according to the report. The combined subscriber base of Sprint, ranked third among US mobile phone firms, and fourth-ranked T-Mobile roughly equals those of the sector’s two leaders — top-ranked Verizon Wireless and AT&T, the daily said.
Wells Fargo profit up 3.8%
Wells Fargo & Co said profit increased 3.8 percent on lower credit costs even as the lender’s per-share earnings failed to top the preceding quarter’s for the first time since 2009. Net income for the second quarter advanced to US$5.73 billion, or US$1.01 a share, from US$5.52 billion, or US$0.98, a year earlier, the San Francisco-based lender said on Friday in a statement. The average estimate of 31 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was US$1.01 a share excluding special items. Earnings per share fell from US$1.05 in the three months ended March 31. Chief executive officer John Stumpf has sought to counter a drop in mortgage revenue as higher interest rates crimp new home loans. He has expanded in businesses including credit-card and auto lending, investment banking and retail wealth management to help cover the shortfall.
‘ACCORDING TO PLAN’: A company official said that it has set up production sites worldwide to provide services and that its Wisconsin project was going smoothly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co’s (鴻海精密) smart manufacturing center in Wisconsin would begin trial manufacturing in the middle of this year, the company said yesterday, adding that it plans to build a research institute to develop key technologies to support growth over the next five years. Hon Hai, known internationally as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), said in an annual report submitted to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that its planned Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology would conduct research into artificial intelligence, next-generation communications, quantum computing, cybersecurity and nano semiconductors in Taiwan. Hon Hai is to make products at the center
TV and online retailer Momo.com Inc (富邦媒體) yesterday said it has set up a new logistics subsidiary, Fu Sheng Logistics Co (富昇物流), to oversee the company’s extensive shipping operations. Leveraging Momo’s 23 satellite warehouses and distribution centers nationwide, Fu Sheng will be in charge of executing the retailer’s same-day shipment plan for deliveries in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, Momo said in a press release. Seeking to further shorten its supply chain, the company is to set up another seven satellite warehouses and distribution centers by the end of the year. “Fu Sheng has a fleet of 200 couriers
US-CHINA TENSIONS: The company said that it supplies self-designed chips to the Chinese company and, as such, is not affected by the latest US export restrictions Macronix International Co (旺宏電子) said it does not expect its shipments of memory chips to Huawei Technologies Co (華為) to be affected by the latest US export restrictions on the Chinese tech giant. “As long as the company [Huawei] places orders, we will ship [chips], unless the [Taiwanese] government restricts all Taiwanese companies from shipping” to Huawei, Macronix chairman and chief executive officer Miin Wu (吳敏求) said on Monday in Hsinchu. The US Department of Commerce on Friday took a further step to block chip supplies from non-US companies to Huawei by requiring foreign semiconductor makers to get US government permission before
E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), the world’s sole supplier of e-paper displays for e-readers and shelf labels, posted its best quarterly net profit for the first quarter in nine years amid increased demand during a traditionally slow season. Net profit soared 80 percent to NT$787 million (US$26.23 million) in the quarter ended March 31, compared with NT$438 million a year earlier. That translated into earnings per share of NT$0.69, up from NT$0.39. E Ink posted lower royalty income of NT$371.23 million last quarter from NT$448.74 million a year earlier, a company financial statement showed. E Ink said that it expects royalty income to