AIIB members to increase
More than 30 countries are waiting to join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), adding to its 57 founding members, its president Jin Liqun (金立群) said on Friday. Speaking on the sidelines of the Boao Forum on China’s Hainan Island, Jin said the bank was working on accepting the new members. Jin did not identify the prospective members. The Chinese territory of Hong Kong may also be allowed to become a member, he added.
Yokohama to buy Alliance
Yokohama Rubber Co on Friday said it is to buy KKR & Co’s Alliance Tire Group for US$1.2 billion to enter the market for agricultural and forest machinery. The Japanese maker of passenger-car tires is to purchase all shares from KKR and other parties and expects to complete the acquisition July 1, according to a statement. The deal is valued at about 2.2 times Alliance Tire’s annual sales and more than 12 times its operating profit for the last fiscal year.
VF Corp seeks alternatives
VF Corp, the owner of the North Face, Lee and Wrangler clothing brands, is exploring alternatives for a business that makes licensed athletic apparel amid sluggish consumer demand in the US, the company said on Friday. The Licensed Sports Group business includes the Majestic brand and supplies apparel and fanware through licensing with professional sports teams, colleges and lifestyle brands, the company said. The business generated about US$550 million in revenue last year, it said.
Economy slowed in Q1
The economy slowed in the first quarter of this year, official figures showed on Friday, hampered by low oil prices and an ongoing drought that has hit the agricultural sector hard. The dip followed last year’s record GDP growth at 6.68 percent, a boom fueled by a flurry of international interest in the nation. The first three months of the year saw GDP growth drop to 5.46 percent, down from 6.12 percent for the same period last year.
World Bank irked by Beirut
The head of the World Bank expressed frustration at Lebanon’s political paralysis on Friday, warning that good governance now was essential to prevent future conflict. The World Bank granted Lebanon a US$100 million loan on Thursday to support educational projects, but an agreed development package from the bank worth about US$1 billion is being held up by the political deadlock. Lebanon’s GDP grew 2 percent in 2014.
Gilead to pay US$200m
Gilead Sciences Inc was ordered by a jury to pay Merck & Co US$200 million for patent infringement over a drug compound that cures hepatitis C, a 10th of what Merck sought. The verdict announced on Thursday follows an earlier finding by the jury embracing Merck’s claims that its scientists were responsible for early breakthroughs that led to the development of the Sovaldi and Harvoni medicines which helped Gilead become the world’s largest biotechnology firm by market value.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into
O2O BICYCLE SHOW: The Taiwan Bicycle Show next year is to be online to offline, with forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming of the offline events Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year. “Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show. The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s