Illicit funding plagues Brazil
A former director of Brazilian oil giant Petrobras who has accused dozens of politicians of taking kickbacks allegedly pocketed one himself for the purchase of a US refinery, local media reported. Paulo Roberto Costa, currently in custody for money laundering, told police and justice ministry officials probing his allegations that he took 1.5 million reais (US$636,000) as part of a deal to buy the Texas-based refinery, Globo television reported on Thursday. Costa is at the heart of a corruption scandal that has made waves as Brazil approaches an Oct. 5 election and has left Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff fighting to fend off a challenge by former party ally Marina Silva.
Firms vie for Dresser-Rand
General Electric (GE) is lined up with Germany’s Siemens and other companies in pursuit of oil equipment maker Dresser-Rand Industries, with any deal likely to be worth more than US$6 billion. Sources close to the matter told AFP on Friday that GE has had preliminary discussions with the company. Earlier media reports in Europe said Germany’s Siemens was set to launch a multibillion-dollar bid for Dresser-Rand, even as Siemen’s Swiss rival Sulzer had its eyes on the company as well. Also potentially involved in any dealmaking is the Russian group Renova, which has 5 percent of Dresser-Rand, according to reports.
Citibank appeal dismissed
A US court on Friday dismissed an appeal by Citibank and Argentina to let the country make payments on debt tied up in a bitter legal battle with hedge funds.
The Federal Appeals Court for the Second Circuit ruled it did not have jurisdiction in the case and sent the appellants back to New York District Judge Thomas Griesa, who has blocked Argentina from servicing its restructured debt until it settles its US$1.3 billion dispute with the two US hedge funds.
Citibank was caught up in the row when Griesa expanded his initial payment freeze to include bonds issued under Argentine law.
Russia drilling to cease
Exxon Mobil said on Friday it will wind down drilling in Russia’s Arctic in the face of US sanctions targeting Western cooperation with Moscow’s oil sector, after the US granted a brief extension to safely mothball its operations. Washington extended sanctions on Russia last week over its aggression in Ukraine. The new measures seek to stop billions of dollars worth of cooperation between Western and Russian energy companies on oil drilling in Russia’s Arctic, in Siberia and offshore. Companies have until Sept. 26 to stop the work.
Phones 4U sells 140 stores
Phones 4U’s administrators PwC said Vodafone UK had agreed to take on 140 of its stores on Friday, saving 887 jobs, while a further 628 staff will be made redundant. The mobile phone retailer, which has 550 standalone stores and 5,596 employees, fell into administration on Monday after the nation’s biggest mobile operator EE joined Vodafone in not renewing its network agreement. The administrators said discussions to sell parts of the business were continuing. The deal remains subject to court approval on Monday and the terms were not revealed.
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
Swancor Renewable Energy Co (上緯新能源) yesterday announced plans for a 4.4 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind project off Miaoli County as part of its commitment toward Taiwan’s energy transformation, the company said in a statement. The “Formosa 4” project includes three deep-water wind farms 18km to 20km off the coast, Swancor Renewable CEO Lucas Lin (林雍堯) said, adding that planning for the project began last year. A proposal for Formosa 4 was this week submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company said. Swancor Renewable jointly developed the Formosa 1 project, a 128 megawatt (MW) wind farm about 4km off Miaoli and the
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,