Glencore raises US$2.5bn
Swiss mining giant Glencore PLC, hit by collapsing commodities prices, yesterday raised US$2.5 billion via a share sale as part of its vast debt-slashing plan. London-listed Glencore said in a statement that it had sold about ￡1.6 billion (US$2.46 billion) in new shares to pay down debt. The company, which has lost 57 percent of its market value this year, sold the new stock at ￡1.25 per share, a 2.4 percent discount to its closing price on Tuesday. Glencore offloaded 1.3 billion shares worth up to 9.99 percent of the group.
Thai bank maintains rates
Thailand’s central bank yesterday kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a third straight meeting, putting the onus on government spending to support the economic recovery. The Bank of Thailand held its one-day bond repurchase rate at 1.5 percent in a unanimous decision, it said. GDP is forecast to expand less than 3 percent this year, Bank of Thailand Assistant Governor Mathee Supapongse said at a media briefing yesterday.While negative factors still outweigh the positive for Thailand’s economy, the deflation risk is limited because core inflation is still positive, he said, predicting that headline inflation would turn positive in the first quarter.
Zara owner profit rises 26%
The Spanish owner of the Zara clothing store chain yesterday said that profit for the first half of the year rose 26 percent, boosted by growth in all markets around the world where the company sells clothes. Inditex Group said in a statement that profit for the January-June period was 1.2 billion euros (US$1.4 billion). Revenue for the period was 9.4 billion euros, up 17 percent compared with the same period last year. The company opened new stores in 35 markets during the first six months of the year, lifting its total store count to 6,777 in 85 markets. More than 10,000 jobs were added and about a quarter of them were in Spain, it said.
Marriott invests in S Africa
Marriott International Inc plans to develop a Johannesburg hotel and executive apartments at a cost of about 1 billion rand (US$74 million), the US hotelier’s first own-branded properties in South Africa. The accommodation is to open in February 2018, Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday. Amdec Property Group, Marriott’s local partner, said in a separate e-mailed statement that Marriott’s 150-room hotel and 200-unit apartment complex would cost a combined 1 billion rand. Marriott agreed to buy Cape Town-based Protea Hospitality Holdings last year for about US$200 million. The company expects the two brands to expand into 18 African countries from 10 over the next five years, Marriott said.
Tentative deal for FCA, UAW
A tentative labor contract covering 40,000 US workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) could eventually end a controversial two-tier pay system and could offer a new approach to curbing medical costs, chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne said on Tuesday. The two-tier pay system “will go away over time,” Marchionne said. Under the old contract recently hired United Auto Workers Union (UAW) members are paid a top wage of US$19.28 an hour, while veterans earn US$28 an hour. Analysts expect raises for UAW members at both levels, but the new pay rates were not disclosed.
‘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