UBS may close Aussie unit
UBS Group AG is shutting its Australian wealth management unit, with senior employees offering to serve clients through a new company, people with knowledge of the matter said. UBS Wealth Management Australia head Mike Chisholm and senior client advisers are forming Crestone Wealth Management, the people said. The advisers moving to Crestone account for about 80 percent of the unit’s revenue, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the matter is private. The Swiss bank’s exit is the result of a more than month-long review. UBS wealth management president Juerg Zeltner said last month that an evaluation was under way. UBS, which reported a 54 percent jump in pretax profit at its wealth-management unit in the first quarter, might announce the exit as soon as this week, one of the people said. A spokesman for UBS in Zurich declined to comment.
Suntory to buy drinks unit
Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd is to buy Japan Tobacco Inc’s vending machine businesses for about ￥150 billion (US$1.2 billion), the cigarette maker said yesterday. The Suntory Beverage acquisition also includes the transfer of two drinks brands, Roots and Momono Tennensui, Japan Tobacco said in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Nikkei Shimbun reported the deal earlier, without saying where it got the information. Parent Suntory Holdings Ltd president Takeshi Niinami in February said that Suntory Beverage was looking into whether to make the acquisition. Japan Tobacco was exploring the sale after saying in February it would exit its drinks business.
Vatican bank profit jumps
The Vatican bank posted a sharp rise in net profit last year after absorbing the costs of a cleanup that hit earnings the year before as part of a wide-ranging drive to tighten financial governance and eliminate abuse, a statement said yesterday. The bank, formally known as the Institute for Religious Works, has tightened regulatory standards and closed thousands of accounts, which were either inactive or deemed not to meet new standards required of clients. Reforming the bank has been one of the most sensitive issues facing Pope Francis as he seeks to overhaul the complex Vatican administration after years of scandal, ranging from allegations of financial malpractice to cover-ups of child sexual abuse by priests. After 2013 results that were hit by heavy write-downs on investments and a jump in operating costs to meet new standards against money laundering, net profit last year rebounded to 69.3 million euros (US$76.1 million) from 2.9 million euros the year before.
Minister pay still frozen
British government ministers will have their pay frozen for another five years as the government tries to reduce the budget deficit, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday. Ministers receive ￡134,565 (US$208,384) per year, including their parliamentary salary. Their pay has been frozen since 2010, when it was cut by 5 percent as part of the then-coalition government’s austerity efforts. Cameron’s Conservatives have pledged to find ￡25 billion of spending cuts over the next two years as they seek to turn a 5 percent budget deficit into a surplus by 2018-2019. An independent body that oversees lawmakers’ pay and expenses had recommended all 650 members of parliament, including ministers, get a 10 percent pay raise this year, which would take their parliamentary salary to ￡74,000.
‘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
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
INCREASING PRESSURE: Pegatron chief financial officer Louise Wu said the merger would allow them to be more flexible when meeting customer needs Pegatron Corp (和碩), an Apple Inc assembly partner, yesterday said that it would fully absorb metal casing subsidiary Casetek Holdings Ltd (鎧勝) in a NT$14.5 billion (US$490.93 million) deal to improve the companies’ competitiveness in the phone assembly supply chain. When Pegatron and Casetek suspended trading earlier in the day, speculation swirled that a possible purchase by China’s Luxshare Precision Industry Co (立訊精密) might be in the cards, but the announcement of the merger dispelled any conjecture. The board of directories of each company agreed that Pegasus Ace Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pegatron, would purchase Casetek in a reverse triangular