Tesco reports net profit
British supermarket giant Tesco PLC yesterday said that it has rebounded into slender annual net profits, after a vast property writedown and challenging home trade sparked a record loss the previous year. Earnings after tax stood at ￡138 million (US$197 million) in the 52 weeks to the end of February, Tesco said in a statement. That contrasted with a loss of ￡5.7 billion in the group’s previous financial year. Pre-tax profits stood at ￡162 million after a loss of ￡6.3 billion a year earlier. Last year’s record loss was prompted by ￡7 billion of one-off charges, mostly linked to a writedown on the value of Tesco’s property.
France forecasts growth
France yesterday said it is on track for modest growth this year, at the same rate as earlier projections, and also left its public deficit forecast untouched. GDP growth in the eurozone’s second-biggest economy is expected to be 1.5 percent this year and the same next year, the French Ministry of Finance said. That is slightly more optimistic than forecasts by both the European Commission and the IMF. France’s public deficit is still expected to be 3.3 percent of GDP this year, dropping to 2.7 percent next year.
S Africa eyes assembly plant
South Africa is in talks with five vehicle manufacturers about a proposed new assembly plant in the port city of East London, a potential boost for an industry that is using government incentives to attract investment from companies, including Ford Motor Co and BMW AG. East London IDZ SOC Ltd, which operates an industrial park, is seeking to sign three producers within a year to assemble vehicles in a shared facility, Tembela Zweni, the state company’s executive manager for zone development, said in an interview. South Africa last year announced it would extend its automotive-incentive program, which encourages vehicle production in the nation through tax breaks.
IPO changes proposed in UK
The regulator that helps oversee UK banks and brokerages proposed changing the process for initial public offerings (IPO) to reduce favoritism and ensure that investors are better informed. Analysts at firms not underwriting an IPO should have more access to the company’s management, and the timing of publication of an approved prospectus should be changed to provide investors with more information, the UK watchdog said yesterday. Investment banks handling the deals often allocate shares to favored customers from their other businesses, which might not be in the issuer’s best interests and might shut out other investors, the Financial Conduct Authority said.
Kuwait to guard facilities
Kuwait is deploying national guard units to run and protect some oil facilities after workers announced a major strike for this weekend, a newspaper reported yesterday. Citing unnamed sources, daily Al-Rai said that units from the national guard would start deploying from yesterday at some facilities in the Gulf state’s oil-rich southern region. The units would provide protection and run operations at the facilities, the independent daily said. Kuwait’s oil workers’ union decided to begin an open-ended strike from Sunday, following a dispute with the oil ministry over proposed pay cuts.
‘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
Nintendo Co is raising its target for Switch production to about 25 million units this fiscal year, people familiar with the matter said, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps lifting demand and component shortages ease. The Kyoto, Japan-based company, which in April hiked orders to 22 million units by March next year, is asking partners to tack on another few million units, said the people, who did not want to be identified discussing internal goals. Assembly partners plan to work at maximum capacity through December. The new production target suggests that Nintendo is likely to outperform its Switch sales forecast of 19 million
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