BOJ maintains policy
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) kept monetary policy steady and maintained its upbeat assessment of the economy yesterday, signaling its conviction that inflation will hit its 2 percent target without additional monetary stimulus. As widely expected, the BOJ reiterated its pledge to increase base money, or cash and deposits at the central bank, at an annual pace of ￥80 trillion (US$648 billion) through purchases of government bonds and risky assets. The policy board made the decision by an 8-1 vote. It also said it will cut the number of policy-setting meetings to eight each year, from the current 14.
CPI rises on gasoline prices
A surge in gasoline prices pushed consumer inflation modestly higher last month, the fourth month in a row of gains, the Department of Labor said on Thursday. The country’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4 percent last month, almost entirely driven by a 10.4 percent jump in gasoline prices, rebounding from a decline in April. Food prices were unchanged for a second straight month. Compared with a year ago, overall CPI was unchanged. Stripping out food and energy prices, core CPI edged up 0.1 percent, its smallest increase since December last year. Core prices were up 1.7 percent from a year ago.
Mitsubishi eyes Manila bank
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc is among companies that have expressed interest in purchasing United Coconut Planters Bank from the Philippine government, a person with knowledge of the matter said. Japan’s biggest bank filed documents showing its interest in the Manila-based lender, the person said. The government received 12 letters of intent from local and foreign entities including banks and private-equity firms, chief privatization officer Toni Coo said earlier this week. Lenders from Malaysia and Taiwan also expressed interest in Coconut Bank, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier.
Fidelity makes Colt offer
Telecoms provider Colt Group SA’s largest shareholder, Fidelity, offered to buy out minority shareholders in an all-cash bid that values Colt at about ￡1.72 billion (US$2.73 billion). Independent directors of Colt said in a separate statement the offer undervalued the company and a sale to a third party could potentially achieve a significantly higher offer. The company’s stock hit a high of ￡1.893, just shy of the offer of ￡1.90 per share, which represents a 21.3 percent premium to Colt’s Thursday closing price.
Nokia seeks maps buyers
Nokia Oyj is leaning toward selling its maps business to a group of German automakers, although price differences remain, according to people familiar with the matter. Nokia is aiming to pressure the group, which consists of Audi AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG, to increase its offer by continuing to entertain bids from other automakers, the people said. The carmakers, who are key clients for the technology and first approached Nokia about a sale, may hesitate to pay the as much as US$4 billion being sought for the unit, known as HERE, they said. Final bids are due this week and Nokia could opt for a different bidder for the business, they said.
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