North America ratio drops
The book-to-bill ratio for North American-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers fell to 1.03 last month from 1.05 in July, statistics released by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) showed on Friday. A ratio of 1.03 means that US$103 worth of orders were received for every US$100 of products billed in the month. It was the ninth consecutive month that the ratio stood at or above 1 percent, indicating strong demand will continue in the short term, SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) said in a statement.
Central bank cuts rate
The central bank on Friday cut its key interest rate by half a percentage point to 10 percent, but warned it could not provide another quick jolt to jump-start stalled economic growth. The Bank of Russia said in a statement that the cut was possible thanks to a “decrease in inflation expectations and unstable economic activity.” However, the central bank made clear it intends to hold off on another cut until early next year at the earliest.
Fiat Chrysler recalls vehicles
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is recalling more than 1.9 million vehicles worldwide because their air bags might not deploy in a crash. The recall affects certain Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Lancia vehicles from the 2010 to 2014 model years. Most are in the US, but 224,860 were sold in Canada and Mexico and 284,051 were sold outside North America. Fiat Chrysler says an air bag and seatbelt control module with a certain wiring design might not deploy the air bags or tighten the seatbelts if the vehicle is involved in a frontal crash.
John Menzies to buy ASIG
UK airport services and logistics group John Menzies PLC agreed to buy peer BBA Aviation PLC’s ground handling and fueling operations in a deal worth US$202 million, taking a major step in consolidating a fragmented industry. The deal for ASIG would make Menzies the world’s largest interplane fueler, doubling its existing North American operations and adding significant scale at major international gateways, including London’s Heathrow Airport.
WTO rules against India
The WTO has ruled against India and delivered a victory to US companies that make solar batteries and equipment. Rejecting India’s appeal of a February ruling, the Geneva-based trade group on Friday said that India violated world trade rules by requiring solar-power companies use made-in-India equipment when they sell electricity to the government. US solar exports to India dropped 90 percent after the country adopted the rules in 2011.
Hungary out of ‘junk status’
Rating agency Standard & Poor’s says it has lifted Hungary’s sovereign debt rating out of “junk status” after upgrading the country’s growth projections. S&P raised Hungary’s rating by one notch to “BBB-” as it increased the country’s average annual growth forecast through 2019 to 2.5 percent from 2 percent. Fitch Ratings Ltd in May made a similar move, while Moody’s still has Hungarian debt in the non-investment category.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion
’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