Greek PM says no to bailout
Greece is beating its fiscal targets and does not need a third bailout from its international creditors, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told yesterday’s Realnews newspaper, confident that the country’s debt would soon be deemed viable. After nearly crashing out of the eurozone two years ago, Greece has managed to bring its finances back on track and post a budget surplus before interest payments last year. Athens has relied on a 240 billion euro (US$311 billion) financing package from the EU and IMF since the second half of 2010 to stay afloat.
EU to leverage investments
European finance ministers agreed on Saturday on the necessity of leveraging private investments with urgent structural reforms to relaunch the continent’s moribund economy. The ministers focused on a proposal by president-elect of the European Commission Jean-Claude Junkers for 300 billion euros (US$388 billion) in public and private investments to revive the economy, but few details emerged at the informal meeting. The meeting was the first held by EU finance ministers since European Central Bank President Mario Draghi outlined a three-pillared strategy to save the eurozone economy.
Batista’s assets frozen
Prosecutors said on Saturday they are seeking to freeze up to 1.5 billion Brazilian reals (US$635 million) of Eike Batista’s assets, once considered Brazil’s richest man, accusing him of market manipulation and insider trading. The tycoon’s financial assets, houses, apartments, cars, ships and planes, as well as assets placed in his wife and children’s names after the alleged crimes occurred would be affected, the Rio de Janeiro prosecutor’s office said. Batista was considered Brazil’s richest man with a fortune estimated at US$30 billion in 2012, before his mining and energy empire began to collapse.
UK’s BBA slams new rules
The UK’s banks have slammed plans to impose new capital rules for lenders and said the “leverage ratio” proposals are far too complex and could encourage banks to take more risks, a British Bankers’ Association (BBA) director Simon Hills said. The Bank of England has proposed changes to the framework for the leverage ratio — which is a measure of equity as a percentage of assets, without adjusting for riskiness. The proposals are expected to result in the UK lifting the minimum leverage ratio for banks in the future, possibly to 4 or 5 percent, bank industry sources said last week. Banks currently need to have a leverage ratio of at least 3 percent, in line with the global standard.
Aspen to expand in Asia
Africa’s largest generic drugmaker, Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd, expects to find a partner in Japan this year as the company seeks to expand its business in fast-growing Asian markets. “To really make a dent, to really show growth, there are two territories in pharmaceuticals you really need to perform in: One is Japan, the second is China,” chief executive officer Stephen Saad said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Africa on Friday. “We’ve got a very big focus coming in those two territories.” Aspen is looking for an alliance in Japan to get access to the market and aims to announce plans before the end of this year, Saad added.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca