US takes aim at 1MDB
US federal prosecutors could file civil lawsuits as early as yesterday in a bid to seize assets purchased with money allegedly misappropriated from a Malaysian state investment company, the Wall Street Journal reported. The US Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is leading the potential asset seizure as it steps up a probe into people and institutions connected to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the report said, citing people it did not identify. It is not clear what assets will be confiscated but it is likely to include properties, the report said. The fund, whose advisory board was headed by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak until it was dissolved recently, is embroiled in multiple global probes related to allegations of money laundering and embezzlement.
ASML forecast disappoints
ASML Holding NV, Europe’s largest semiconductor-equipment maker, gave a sales forecast that trailed analysts’ estimates, a sign customer investments in new machinery are yet to accelerate. Third-quarter revenue will be about 1.7 billion euros (US$1.87 billion), the Veldhoven, Netherlands-based company said in a statement yesterday. Analysts had predicted 1.74 billion euros on average. ASML’s second-quarter sales were 1.74 billion euros, while net income declined 4.3 percent to 354 million euros.
China Film Co plans IPO
China Film Co (中國電影公司), the nation’s largest movie distributor, is planning a 4.09 billion yuan (US$612.29 million) initial public offering (IPO) in what would be the biggest IPO in the country’s entertainment industry. The unit of state-owned China Film Group Corp (中國電影集團) plans to offer as many as 467 million shares to be listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, according to a filing yesterday. The company is to begin gauging investors’ interest from Friday through Monday next week and start the offering on Thursday next week. Proceeds are to be used for movie production and investments in cinemas, the company said.
ADIA announces gains drop
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, said its long-term gains dropped last year. The fund’s 20-year annual rate of return slowed to 6.5 percent at the end of last year, from 7.4 percent in 2014, it said in its annual review. Over three decades, annual returns fell to 7.5 percent from 8.4 percent. The Abu Dhabi government will probably take billions of dollars out of ADIA to help finance the emirate’s budget amid a slump in oil prices, Fitch Ratings Ltd said in February. Assets will drop to US$475 billion at the end of this year, from an estimated US$502 billion at the end of 2014, Fitch said.
Foreign ownership eased
The government said it is exempt foreign makers of motorcycles and batteries from ownership limits in their manufacturing operations, revising a key industrial policy just as rulemakers consider similar measures for automakers. The amended rules governing foreign investment are to apply to foreign companies setting up in the free-trade zones of Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangdong and Fujian, the central government said in a statement on Tuesday. Manufacturers such as Yamaha Motor Co and Samsung SDI Co were previously required to partner with local companies and could own as much as 50 percent of joint ventures.
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
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
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to