Inside traders sentenced
A former Qualcomm Inc executive was sentenced on Friday to 18 months in prison and fined US$500,000 for an insider trading scheme that saw him profit from the wireless technology company’s confidential information and then cover up his crimes. Former Qualcomm global business operations president Jing Wang (汪靜), 52, pleaded guilty in July to charges of insider trading, money laundering and obstruction of justice in the case that ended in convictions for several Qualcomm employees. Wang made three trades based on insider information.
Germany to raise spending
The German government plans to increase spending by 3.4 percent next year while borrowing no new money for the third year running — helped by a strong economy that has boosted its tax income. The budget plan released on Friday envisions 312 billion euros (US$348.44 billion) in spending, up from 301.6 billion euros this year. The budget is expected to increase over the following three years, reaching 333.1 billion euros in 2019, while new borrowing remains at zero. The government plans to put more money into transport infrastructure over the coming years and offering limited tax relief.
EU fails Romania progress
Romania failed to make sufficient progress in implementing promised economic reforms in exchange for rescue funds, the European Commission said in a statement on Friday after a meeting in Bucharest. Romania only managed to claw out of a deep recession after the EU and the IMF agreed to a bailout program of 20 billion euros (US$22.34 billion) in 2009. In 2013, it concluded a new deal of two years that opened a credit line of 4 billion euros that it could tap on in case of a serious crisis. Romanian Minister of Finance Eugen Teodorovici said after the meeting with EU auditors that a decision concerning whether to carry on with the bailout would be made at the next meeting of EU ministers of finance on July 14.
Ukraine broke rules: WTO
Emergency car import duties imposed by Ukraine in 2012 to safeguard its own auto industry violate global trade rules, the WTO said on Friday, urging Kiev to lift them. A WTO panel of experts found in favor of Japan, which brought the complaint against Ukraine in late 2013, ruling that “Ukraine acted inconsistently” with a range of international trade rules, including the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade agreement. Both Ukraine and Japan can appeal the ruling if they do so within 60 days.
Bid poses antitrust issues
Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc’s bid for rival fertilizer producer K+S AG could face tough regulatory hurdles as more than half of global capacity would end up in the hands of four companies, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. The proposed US$8.6 billion takeover of K+S would give about 8 percent of global capacity to Potash, which already controls about 20 percent of the market, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.The possibility of further consolidation in the industry would increase the likelihood of antitrust challenges, Bloomberg Intelligence said.
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a
Taipei 101, one of the nation’s leading shopping centers, is planning to reduce its business hours due to decreased demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Taipei 101 is to open daily at noon and close at 9pm from April 6, building management said in a statement on Monday. The shopping center has been opening at 11am and closing at 9:30pm from Sunday to Thursday, while closing at 10pm on Friday and Saturday. The restaurants in the food court — on the basement level — would adjust their business hours as necessary, but the supermarket would continue to open at 9am daily, management said. The shopping