Satyam CEO convicted
A court yesterday convicted the former chief executive of outsourcing giant Satyam Computer Services Ltd and his aides over a US$2.25 billion accounting fraud scandal dubbed “India’s Enron,” prosecutors said. Byrraju Ramalinga Raju, his brother and eight others were found guilty of manipulating Satyam’s books in 2009. Raju faces a life sentence after being charged with criminal conspiracy and breaching public trust in a scam that prosecutors said caused 140 billion rupees (US$2.25 billion) in losses to investors.
Growth forecast cut to 3.1%
The central bank yesterday slashed its economic growth forecast for this year for the second time this year, to 3.1 percent, and predicted annual inflation would come in at just 0.9 percent, compared with the bank’s earlier forecast of 1.9 percent. The monthly monetary meeting of the Bank of Korea also left its benchmark interest rate unchanged for this month, following a surprise 25 basis point reduction the previous month.
Next year’s forecast cut
The economy will expand at a slower rate than earlier thought next year and in 2017, the finance ministry said in new forecasts published on Wednesday. Growth is expected to reach 1.5 percent for both years, rather than 1.7 percent previously forecast for next year and 1.9 percent for 2017. However, the ministry maintained its growth forecast for this year at 1 percent. It also reiterated that France is on course to bring down its public deficit to the EU limit of 3 percent of output by 2017.
Olsen to head merged firms
The boards of France’s Lafarge SA and Switzerland’s Holcim Ltd have approved Eric Olsen for the role of chief executive officer once the firms merge, creating the world’s biggest cement company. The 51-year-old French and American national is currently executive vice president for operations at Lafarge, Holcim said in a statement yesterday. The merger still must be approved by two-thirds of shareholders at each of the two companies at special general assemblies.
Uniqlo net profit up 56.2%
The operator of Japanese fast-fashion brand Uniqlo yesterday said that robust foreign sales and a weaker yen had given a more than 50 percent boost to its half-year net profit. For the six months to the end of February, Fast Retailing said net profit reached ￥104.7 billion (US$871 million), a 56.2 percent rise from the ￥67.1 billion logged a year ago. Operating profit climbed 40.2 percent to ￥150.1 billion on sales of ￥949.7 billion, which was up 24.2 percent from the same period the previous year.
YouTube to offer subscription
YouTube will soon give viewers the option of paying a monthly fee to skip ads. On Wednesday, the company sent a letter to its most-popular content creators asking them to sign off on new contract terms to allow for the change. It is not clear when the option will be offered or how much the fee will be. The streaming video service owned by Google Inc first offered pay channels in May 2013 and also launched a paid subscription, ad-free music service called Music Key to select participants in November last year.
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
ELECTRIC FARMLAND: TSMC’s proposal to clear 230 hectares of reforested land for what would become Taiwan’s largest photovoltaic solar farm has generated concerns New rules curbing solar farms built on agricultural land sparked fierce debate at a packed public hearing at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, with industry representatives saying that the new restrictions would endanger President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) green energy goals, while agricultural officials emphasized the importance of protecting farmers and the environment. The Tsai administration has set a target to generate 20 percent of the nation’s power from renewable sources by 2025, by which time it also aims to install 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar power, including 6GW from rooftop solar systems and 14GW from ground-mounted solar farms. Although rooftop solar systems are