Wells Fargo ranked top bank
Wells Fargo & Co finished trading on Friday as the most valuable US bank ever, surpassing Citigroup Inc’s 2001 record. Wells Fargo closed with a market capitalization of US$285.5 billion, based on 5.19 billion shares outstanding on Oct. 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That beats the previous record set by Citigroup on Feb. 5, 2001, when its value reached US$283.4 billion, the data showed. Wells Fargo, which counts Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc as its largest shareholder, doubled its size in 2008 by outmaneuvering New York-based Citigroup to purchase Wachovia Corp. Chief executive officer John Stumpf made one out of every four US mortgages last year and now oversees the most US bank branches. Wells Fargo stock rose 1 percent to US$55.03 per share in New York, and the 21 percent gain this year tops the 7.7 percent advance for the KBW Bank Index of 24 US lenders.
Buffet rises on rich list
Warren Buffett became the world’s second-richest person on Friday after shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc reached a record high. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company has soared 27 percent this year as the dozens of operating businesses the 84-year-old chairman bought over the past five decades churned out record profit. Berkshire’s Class A shares traded above US$200,000 for the first time in August after a rally that followed the release of the company’s annual report, in which Buffett wrote that the company’s actual worth has been rising faster than suggested by metrics such as book value. Since that milestone, the shares have climbed another 13 percent, elevating Buffett’s fortune to US$73.7 billion, US$300 million more than Mexico’s Carlos Slim.
IMF to assess Ukraine aid
The IMF on Saturday said it would dispatch a team to Ukraine to determine just how much extra aid the war-wrecked and energy-starved nation needs to make it through winter. The fund has helped piece together a US$27 billion global rescue package — promising to contribute US$17 billion of that sum over two years — in the weeks that followed the February ouster in Kiev of a Russian-backed president Viktor Yanukovich. However, it has since said that the new pro-Western government might need at least US$19 billion in additional assistance should its war against pro-Russian insurgents in the eastern industrial heartland drag on through the end of next year.
American Airlines to update
American Airlines Group Inc plans to spend US$2 billion on new aircraft seats, in-flight entertainment and onboard power outlets as it chases its rivals, led by Delta Air Lines Inc, in updating amenities for passengers. The plan announced on Saturday marks a shift by the carrier to add a focus on changes that passengers would notice most. It is also completing the basic work of meshing flight and airport operations with merger partner US Airways that has been under way during the first year of their combination. The airline has produced record profits since the merger, paid its first dividend since 1980 and announced a US$1 billion share buyback plan. Those moves have assuaged bankruptcy creditors who ended up with stakes in the new American Airlines when it left court protection through the merger. The company’s improved financial condition is set to help pay for the aircraft changes. The airline’s shares have more than doubled in the past 12 months.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported that revenue last month expanded 25 percent annually, but fell 12.8 percent month-on-month to NT$105.96 billion (US$3.59 billion). In the first seven months of this year, the chipmaker’s revenue surged 33.6 percent to NT$727.26 billion, compared with NT$544.46 billion a year earlier. TSMC has said it aims to grow its revenue by more than 20 percent this year. The company has since May 15 stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies Co (華為), its second-biggest customer after Apple Inc, due to the US’ restrictions on exports containing US technologies. TSMC has no plans to