LIBOR trader trial starts
The first trader to face prosecution on charges of rigging global benchmark interest rates was to go on trial in London yesterday, following a scandal that handed banks hefty fines and damaged reputations. Britain’s Serious Fraud Office said that Tom Hayes was the ringleader of more than a dozen traders that it said worked to rig the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) in the mid to late 2000s. Formerly a trader with Swiss bank UBS and its US rival, Citigroup, the 35-year-old Briton was to go before the court in Southwark, across the river from London’s financial center, in a trial expected to last weeks.
Charter eyes Time Warner
Charter Communications Inc reached an agreement to buy Time Warner Cable Inc for about US$55.33 billion in cash and stock, according to people familiar with the matter. Charter offered about US$195.71 a share — 14 percent above Time Warner Cable’s closing price on Friday last week — with US$100 in cash and the rest in its own stock, the people said. Bright House Networks, a smaller cable company that Charter is trying to buy, is also to be merged into the combined entity, they said. Charter, the fourth-biggest US cable company, is making its second move on No. 2 Time Warner Cable after its bid early last year was rejected and Comcast Corp swooped in with a competing offer.
Ryanair profits surge
Irish no-frills airline Ryanair yesterday announced its annual net profit surged by two-thirds, boosted by improved customer service, rising sales and sliding oil prices. Earnings after taxation surged by 66 percent to 866.7 million euros (US$945.1 million) in the year to March 31, compared with 522.8 million euros the previous fiscal year, Ryanair said in a statement. That beat the company’s own guidance of 840 million euros to 850 million euros. Passenger numbers swelled by 11 percent to 90.6 million, while revenues grew by 12 percent to 5.654 billion euros, it added.
US firm eyes London listing
Boston-based PureTech Health PLC plans to raise US$160 million in a London listing, filling its coffers to fund product development and delivering a vote of confidence in the British life sciences sector. The planned initial public offering on the main market of the London Stock Exchange is expected to happen next month, the company said in a statement yesterday. The group specializes in building a portfolio of early-stage science and technology in the healthcare sector, typically from academia, and nurturing the ideas into commercially viable businesses.
AstraZeneca drug stumbles
AstraZeneca PLC’s hopes of topping US$45 billion in revenue by 2023 have been dealt a blow by a problem with an experimental psoriasis drug that the drugmaker had viewed as a potential billion-dollar-plus seller. Amgen, its partner on the project, announced late on Friday last week that it was ending a collaboration to develop brodalumab after suicidal thoughts were observed in patients taking the medicine. Deutsche Bank analyst Richard Parkes called the setback a surprise, adding that terminating the drug’s development would hit long-term consensus forecasts for AstraZeneca’s earnings by about 2 percent.
‘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