Toshiba shares dive
Toshiba Corp shares dropped to a 36-year low in Tokyo yesterday after the company widened its annual loss forecast to a record ￥710 billion (US$6 billion) as the Japanese industrial group restructures in the wake of an accounting scandal. Shares fell 11 percent to ￥176.3, the lowest close since December 1979, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Toshiba’s new forecast is 29 percent wider than an earlier projection for a ￥550 billion shortfall and the ￥505.5 billion loss average of 10 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
IKEA loses name dispute
Furniture giant IKEA, founded in Sweden in 1943, has lost a trademark dispute in Indonesia after the country’s highest court agreed the name was owned by a local company. Indonesian furniture company PT Ratania Khatulistiwa registered its IKEA trademark in December 2013. It is an acronym of Intan Khatulistiwa Esa Abadi. The Supreme Court’s ruling was made in May last year, but only surfaced publicly this week with its publication online by the court on Thursday.
News Corp profits drop
News Corp on Thursday reported a 56 percent drop in quarterly profits on weaker revenue from its newspaper operations worldwide. The group formed by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch said profit in the quarter to Dec. 31 last year fell to US$62 million from US$142 million a year earlier. Total revenues dipped 4 percent from a year ago to US$2.16 billion.
BNP Paribas earnings fall
BNP Paribas SA posted a 52 percent decline in fourth-quarter earnings, missing estimates, while announcing a revamp of its investment bank to boost profit and free up capital. Net income at France’s biggest bank fell to 665 million euros (US$744 million) from 1.38 billion euros a year earlier after a goodwill writedown at its Italian unit, the Paris-based company said yesterday. Earnings fell short of the 864 million-euro average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Amazon to stream songs
Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday that its Echo wireless system is to play songs from Spotify Ltd as the retail giant delves further into the booming sector of streaming. Echo, which went on sale last year, is a wireless speaker that responds to voice commands to carry out tasks such as looking up information on the Internet or setting alarms. Through the tie-up, Echo owners would be able to play instantly from the vast catalog of Spotify. However, the tie-up will only be available in the US and for paying subscribers of Spotify.
BOE cuts growth forecast
The Bank of England (BOE) cut its economic growth forecasts to 2.2 percent this year and 2.3 percent next year on Thursday, with interest rates staying at a record-low, as policymakers fretted over slumping oil prices and the darkening global outlook. The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) held its key rate at 0.5 percent in a unanimous vote, where it has stood since March 2009. The MPC also maintained the amount of cash stimulus, or quantitative easing, pumping around the British economy at ￡375 billion pounds (US$542 billion) after its latest two-day gathering.
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
BULK PURCHASE: The French chain and Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International reached a deal covering 224 stores, which is expected to be finalized by year’s end Carrefour SA yesterday announced it would acquire Wellcome Taiwan Co (惠康百貨) for 97 million euros (US$108.33 million), and bring all the Wellcome supermarkets (頂好超市) and Jasons Market Place stores nationwide under its banner within 12 months of the deal closing. The France-based hypermarket chain reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings (牛奶國際控股), the pan-Asian retailer that launched Wellcome Taiwan in 1987. The transaction involves 199 Wellcome supermarkets, which have average sales areas of 420m2 and 25 high-end Jasons Market Place stores, which have an average sales area of 820m2, as well as a warehouse in Taoyuan, Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福)
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the