ABI raises sufficient funds
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI) has completed a US$46 billion, seven-part bond deal to help finance the acquisition of fellow brewing company SABMiller PLC, in the second-largest corporate debt offering ever in the US, according to Thomson Reuters. Investors had put in orders for US$117 billion — the biggest backlog of orders ever. The size of the deal fell just short of breaking the record to date, US$49 billion of debt raised in a deal by Verizon in 2013 to finance the acquisition of a 45 percent stake in its wireless unit that was held by Britain’s Vodafone. Investors have rushed for a piece of the investment-grade Anheuser-Busch InBev deal as global stock markets have been turbulent at the start of the year and sinking commodity markets have left investors reeling.
S Korea cuts growth outlook
South Korea’s central bank yesterday cut its economic growth outlook for this year from 3.2 percent to 3 percent, citing lingering “uncertainties” over a slowdown in key export markets and the won. Despite a sustained US economic recovery, growth in emerging markets including China — Seoul’s largest trade partner — has “continued to slow,” it said in a statement. The Bank of Korea also lowered its inflation projections for this year to 1.4 percent from its earlier 1.7 percent forecast, noting that price rises were expected to remain “considerably short” of its 2 percent target for the time being. The central bank left its key interest rate at 1.5 percent for a seventh consecutive month — after the US Federal Reserve last month announced its first rate hike in almost a decade.
Most of US registers growth
The US economy grew in most parts of the nation, while the New York and Kansas City regions reported essentially flat growth, a closely watched US Federal Reserve report showed on Wednesday. The Beige Book report said that nine of the Fed’s 12 districts had reported increased economic activity that was either “moderate” or “modest” and the outlook for future growth from persons surveyed was “mostly positive” in six districts. The previous Beige Book — released on Dec. 2 last year — had reported an increase in consumer spending in most districts and “robust” automobile sales. The collection of anecdotal information helps to inform policy decisions by the Federal Open Market Committee.
Prices slide on glut fears
Brent oil yesterday traded near US$30 per barrel as Iran moved closer to boosting exports and exacerbating a global glut. Futures fell as much as 1.9 percent in London to the biggest discount to US prices in about a year. Brent slid below US$30 per barrel on Wednesday for the first time since April 2004 amid speculation sanctions on Iran might be lifted by Monday, paving the way for increased shipments. US stockpiles gained by 234,000 barrels last week while supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the US’ biggest storage hub, climbed further to a record, according to government data. Prices pared losses after attacks in Indonesia. Iran, the fifth-biggest OPEC member, is set to increase production by 100,000 barrels per day, or 3.7 percent, one month after sanctions are lifted and by 400,000 in six months, according to the median estimate of 12 analysts and economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,
Swancor Renewable Energy Co (上緯新能源) yesterday announced plans for a 4.4 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind project off Miaoli County as part of its commitment toward Taiwan’s energy transformation, the company said in a statement. The “Formosa 4” project includes three deep-water wind farms 18km to 20km off the coast, Swancor Renewable CEO Lucas Lin (林雍堯) said, adding that planning for the project began last year. A proposal for Formosa 4 was this week submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company said. Swancor Renewable jointly developed the Formosa 1 project, a 128 megawatt (MW) wind farm about 4km off Miaoli and the