HK regulator gives life ban
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission said it banned former Credit Suisse Group AG trader Jagjit Singh Dhillon from the industry for life after he made fictitious trades and covered up losses in 2012. Dhillon, who traded equity derivatives, took steps to hide losses and his true exposure to risk in his trading books between May 8 and May 17, 2012, booked fictitious trades and entered incorrect market data, the regulator said on its Web site yesterday. The trader’s actions led to overstated profits and understated risk exposure, resulting in Credit Suisse having to make US$5.4 million in adjustments to the cumulative monthly profit and loss figure for its trading book on May 18, 2012, the regulator said.
China to start option trades
China will start trading its first stock options next month, according to the securities regulator, with state media saying yesterday that the move could cause greater market volatility. The Shanghai Stock Exchange will begin offering options on an exchange-traded fund starting on Feb. 9, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said in a statement, which described the launch as a “trial.” “The trial of stock options ... is of great significance to promoting the healthy development and enhancing the global competitiveness of China’s capital markets,” it said in the statement on Friday. However, the move might bring more volatility, state media said, in a stock market dominated by retail investors. Separately, the 21st Century Business Herald said options would benefit the market in the long run by helping investors hedge against risk and discover value investing.
Singapore rates raise prices
A sudden new-year jump in Singapore interest rates threatens to push up mortgage costs and steepen a slide in home prices. The three-month Singapore interbank offered rate, against which most home loans are benchmarked, has risen 18 basis points to 0.6392 percent this year, the highest since April 2010, driven by a stronger US dollar and new liquidity requirements for Singapore banks. Short-term interest rates might head toward 1 percent this year, as a resurgent US economy could spur the US Federal Reserve to raise borrowing costs, according to United Overseas Bank Ltd and Maybank Kim Eng Research Pte. Singapore, which has S$177 billion (US$132 billion) of outstanding mortgage debt, posted a 4 percent drop in home prices last year. Home prices may fall a further 10 percent by the middle of next year, while short-term interest rates could top 1 percent this year, more than double last year’s level, said Vishnu Varathan, an economist at Mizuho Bank Ltd in Singapore
China car sales to top 25.1m
China’s vehicle sales are forecast to expand 7 percent this year, as the economy cools in the world’s largest car market. Total deliveries may exceed 25.1 million vehicles, from 23.5 million last year, the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (中國汽車工業協會) said in Beijing yesterday. That compares with 6.9 percent growth last year and 14 percent in 2013, with the market continuing to add the equivalent of an entire year’s auto sales in some smaller developed markets, such as France or South Korea. Ford Motor Co, General Motors Co and Volkswagen AG each reported record Chinese vehicle deliveries last year, despite economic growth easing to the slowest pace since 1990.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday posted monthly revenue that suggested second-quarter sales surpassed analysts’ estimates, underscoring how its technological lead is helping the chipmaker weather the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions on its second-biggest customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Apple Inc’s main iPhone chipmaker posted sales of NT$120.88 billion (US$4.08 billion) for last month, up 40.8 percent year-on-year and bringing its revenue for the second quarter to NT$310.7 billion, beating the NT$308.8 billion analysts expected on average. TSMC, a barometer for the industry thanks to its heft in the global supply chain, had previously lowered its revenue outlook for this
‘POSITIVE EFFECT’: Phison this year began shipping SSDs to Japan’s largest pachinko maker, which uses the components in its machines featuring high-resolution graphics Phison Electronics Corp (群聯電子), a designer of NAND flash memory controllers and modules, yesterday reported that revenue last quarter grew 11 percent from a year earlier on the back of new orders from Japan’s largest pachinko maker. Revenue last quarter expanded to NT$10.86 billion (US$366.82 million) from NT$9.79 billion a year earlier, Phison said. However, on a quarterly basis, revenue slumped 15.62 percent from NT$12.87 billion, it said. The Miaoli-based company said that it is benefiting from growing demand for solid-state drives (SSDs) used in devices beyond computers, which is stimulating growth for the NAND flash memory industry. Pachinko machines are one