Toshiba to investigate fall
Toshiba Corp fell the most in more than a year after the company said it would appoint a committee to investigate possible problems with its accounting. The maker of nuclear reactors, chips, appliances and electronics dropped 4.9 percent, the most since Jan. 31, to close at ￥487 in Tokyo trading. Toshiba will form a panel to examine the “reasonableness of estimates” when using the percentage-of-completion accounting method for some projects, it said on Friday after the market closed. The effect on earnings has not been determined, the Tokyo-based firm said in a statement. “The announcement doesn’t give us a good impression of Toshiba,” SMBC Nikko Securities Inc analyst Yukihiko Shimada said. “A sense of uncertainty will spread about the credibility of the company’s accounting.” The investigation will take about a month, the company said.
Mizuho to hire RBS staff
Mizuho Financial Group Inc plans to hire as many as 200 people from Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS) in the US as part of its deal to buy loans from the British lender, a person with knowledge of the matter said. Japan’s third-biggest bank by market value is in talks to take on 130 to 200 employees from RBS’ US unit, including fixed-income and loan staff members, the person said, asking not to be named because the discussions are private. Mizuho said in February that it would buy the loans for about US$3 billion to gain access to corporate clients in North America. The portfolio consists of US$36.5 billion of loan commitments to about 200 investment-grade companies, of which US$3.2 billion has been drawn.
Indonesia to levy export tax
Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, will impose export levies to fund biodiesel subsidies as well as replanting, research and development. Shippers will pay a levy of US$50 per tonne for palm oil and US$30 for processed products starting this month, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Sofyan Djalil said in Jakarta on Saturday. The government will keep the threshold for application of a separate export tax at US$750 per tonne, Djalil said. The nation boosted the mandated amount of palm blending in diesel to 10 percent from 7.5 percent in 2013, and ordered power plants to mix 20 percent last year. The biodiesel subsidy was raised in February to 4,000 rupiah (US$0.31) per liter from 1,500 rupiah and the mandated blending for diesel will increase to 15 percent.
UK to boost first-time buyers
British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said he wants to double the number of first-time home buyers as opinion polls continued to show a tight race before the May 7 election. Osborne told the Sunday Telegraph that his Conservative Party would seek to increase the amount of first-time buyers to 500,000 per year by 2020 if it wins re-election. Osborne has sought to rejuvenate the housing market as a driver of the British economy with programs such as Help to Buy, in which the government assists those with small down payments to buy property. They would be extended to meet the new target, he said. Osborne said he also wants to boost home building. Asked if a lack of supply risked stoking a housing bubble, he said that the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee can step in to cool the market.
‘ACCORDING TO PLAN’: A company official said that it has set up production sites worldwide to provide services and that its Wisconsin project was going smoothly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co’s (鴻海精密) smart manufacturing center in Wisconsin would begin trial manufacturing in the middle of this year, the company said yesterday, adding that it plans to build a research institute to develop key technologies to support growth over the next five years. Hon Hai, known internationally as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), said in an annual report submitted to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that its planned Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology would conduct research into artificial intelligence, next-generation communications, quantum computing, cybersecurity and nano semiconductors in Taiwan. Hon Hai is to make products at the center
TV and online retailer Momo.com Inc (富邦媒體) yesterday said it has set up a new logistics subsidiary, Fu Sheng Logistics Co (富昇物流), to oversee the company’s extensive shipping operations. Leveraging Momo’s 23 satellite warehouses and distribution centers nationwide, Fu Sheng will be in charge of executing the retailer’s same-day shipment plan for deliveries in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, Momo said in a press release. Seeking to further shorten its supply chain, the company is to set up another seven satellite warehouses and distribution centers by the end of the year. “Fu Sheng has a fleet of 200 couriers
E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), the world’s sole supplier of e-paper displays for e-readers and shelf labels, posted its best quarterly net profit for the first quarter in nine years amid increased demand during a traditionally slow season. Net profit soared 80 percent to NT$787 million (US$26.23 million) in the quarter ended March 31, compared with NT$438 million a year earlier. That translated into earnings per share of NT$0.69, up from NT$0.39. E Ink posted lower royalty income of NT$371.23 million last quarter from NT$448.74 million a year earlier, a company financial statement showed. E Ink said that it expects royalty income to
STAYING AHEAD: Fitch said that TSMC remains technologically ahead of others, but Samsung is building a new chip fab, while China is investing in its domestic industry As escalating US-China tensions and COVID-19-related production disruptions force US technology supply chains to transform, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) US$12 billion chip fabrication plant in Arizona would be key to spurring greater US production of core semiconductor components, Fitch Ratings said. “We view the US-TSMC alliance as a first step in building a more autonomous US technology supply chain, given high barriers to entry, specifically related to the significant capital and design capability required for leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing,” Fitch said in a statement on Tuesday. “By working with TSMC, US chipmakers will not face the financial burden of incremental investment