Russia told to pay Yukos Oil
Russia has been ordered to pay more than US$50 billion for expropriating what was once the nation’s largest oil producer, Yukos Oil Co, in a court ruling that said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government used tax claims to destroy the company and its CEO, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a political opponent. The Permanent Court for Arbitration on Monday said that the Russian government owes the money to the former majority shareholders in Yukos. Moscow vowed to fight the decision, one of the largest commercial arbitration awards in history, raising the prospect of a new round of legal battles as the shareholders seek to enforce the decision.
‘Inversion’ deals hurt US
US Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew warned on Monday that the surge in companies moving offshore via mergers to skirt US taxes could weaken the nation’s finances. Taking aim at “inversion” deals, Lew said the US Congress needs to amend tax laws to eliminate takeovers of foreign companies by US firms with the primary aim of seeking an address in a cheaper tax jurisdiction. Lew said companies had touted up to US$1 billion in annual tax savings by moving their address offshore, which could impact the annual budget, US$3.8 trillion in the current year.
Honda posts US$1.4bn profit
Honda Motor Co yesterday reported an April-June fiscal first-quarter profit of ￥146.5 billion (US$1.4 billion), close to what analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast. The company raised its annual profit forecast to ￥600 billion from ￥595 billion. Quarterly sales totaled ￥2.988 trillion, up 5 percent from a year earlier. Honda, which sold 1.06 million vehicles in April to last month, expects to sell 4.83 million vehicles for the fiscal year through March next year. The Tokyo-based company sold 4.32 million vehicles last fiscal year.
Airbus cancels order
Airbus has canceled an order for six A380 superjumbos from Skymark Airlines because the Japanese company is facing financial difficulties, the French daily Les Echos reported on Monday. The European aircraft manufacturer reportedly terminated a US$2.2 billion contract, signed in 2011, last week. Skymark posted its first net loss in five years of 13.5 million euros (US$18.1 million) last fiscal year.
Current account in surplus
Seoul logged a current account surplus of nearly US$8 billion last month, slightly down from the May figure as import growth outpaced exports, the Bank of Korea said yesterday. The current account, the broadest measure of foreign trade in goods and services, showed a surplus of US$7.92 billion compared with a revised figure of US$9.08 billion the previous month. In the first six months of the year, the surplus stood at a record US$39.2 billion, compared with US$31.3 billion a year earlier.
Total selling coal assets
French oil giant Total on Monday said it had inked a deal to sell its South African coal assets to mining company Exxaro Resources for US$472 million. Exxaro is South Africa’s second-largest coal producer, with seven coal mines that produce about 40 million tonnes annually. Last year Total Coal South Africa sold about 4.5 million tonnes of thermal coal, mainly to Asian markets, making it the fifth-largest producer in the country.
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
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
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