IBM beats profit forecasts
International Business Machines Corp (IBM) on Thursday reported fourth-quarter net profit of US$4.5 billion, or earnings per share of US$4.72. Earnings, adjusted for costs related to mergers and acquisitions and non-recurring costs, came to US$5.01 per share. The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of US$4.89 per share. The technology and consulting company posted revenue of US$21.77 billion in the period, also surpassing consensus forecasts.
Uber settles drivers’ claims
Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc has agreed to pay US$20 million to settle allegations that it exaggerated prospective earnings in seeking to recruit drivers, according to documents filed with a US federal court on Thursday. The company said on its Web site that UberX drivers made more than US$90,000 in New York and US$74,000 in San Francisco when the real earnings were considerably less, the US Federal Trade Commission said in a court filing.
Paramount gets China deal
Paramount Pictures yesterday said it had inked a cofinancing deal with two Chinese companies for the Hollywood studio’s slate of movies over the next three years. Under the terms of the deal, Shanghai Film Group Co (上海電影集團) and Huahua Media (華樺傳媒) will also set up an office on Paramount’s lot later this year, the studio said in a statement. The Chinese companies will provide about US$1 billion to finance at least 25 percent of Paramount’s films, a person familiar with the deal said. Film industry publications cited the same figures.
Ex-Garuda CEO a suspect
Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency on Thursday said it was treating the former chief executive of airline PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk as a suspect in a bribery case. The Corruption Eradication Commission said in a statement that Emirsyah Satar, the CEO of Garuda from 2005 to 2014, was suspected of taking bribes related to the purchase of planes and machines from Airbus Group SE and Rolls-Royce PLC. Satar is now chairman of Lippo Group’s e-commerce platform MatahariMall.com.
GDP to grow 2%: minister
The Russian economy could grow 2 percent this year in case of no external shocks like a new fall in oil prices, Minister for Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He also said the central bank could soon start buying foreign currency to help the finance ministry sterilize excessive budget revenues above US$40 per barrel, but added it would not mean Russia would depart from its policies of a freely floating ruble.
ChemChina seeks US nod
China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina, 中國化工) said it filed for US antitrust approval with the Federal Trade Commission for its proposed US$43 billion takeover of Swiss agrochemical company Syngenta AG. ChemChina has submitted documentation required by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and expects the US antitrust process to be “on track,” the company said in an e-mail. The commission has 30 days to clear the proposed tie-up or issue a second request, seeking more information and a longer review period.
STAYING AHEAD: Fitch said that TSMC remains technologically ahead of others, but Samsung is building a new chip fab, while China is investing in its domestic industry As escalating US-China tensions and COVID-19-related production disruptions force US technology supply chains to transform, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) US$12 billion chip fabrication plant in Arizona would be key to spurring greater US production of core semiconductor components, Fitch Ratings said. “We view the US-TSMC alliance as a first step in building a more autonomous US technology supply chain, given high barriers to entry, specifically related to the significant capital and design capability required for leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing,” Fitch said in a statement on Tuesday. “By working with TSMC, US chipmakers will not face the financial burden of incremental investment
DIVERSIFICATION: Although COVID-19 would push more companies to produce in emerging markets, DBS said that it was unlikely that firms would totally leave China Geopolitical tensions and supply disruptions are expected to accelerate the migration of manufacturing out of China, as concerns about the risk of production concentrated in one country increase, S&P Global Ratings said. Although its economic expansion might be weaker than previous levels due to the accelerated relocation of manufacturing, China’s economic growth would still be stronger than that of most other economies, the ratings agency said. “While absolute growth rates will moderate, we believe China’s economic performance will continue to be a key sovereign credit support,” S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Tan Kim Eng (陳錦榮) said in a statement on Thursday. “Its growth
Taiwan’s corporate landscape has changed significantly over the past 20 years, with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) replacing Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑) as the revenue leader, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) has emerged as the most profitable firm, a survey of Taiwan’s 50 largest companies published on Tuesday last week showed. The Chinese-language CommonWealth Magazine survey ranked Taiwan’s 50 largest companies based on their revenue last year, and compared them with the results of a similar survey it conducted in 2000. Only 33 companies on the original list remained in this year’s rankings, the survey found, following two
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) yesterday announced that it would suspend guestroom operations and lay off related staffers from Monday, as regional border controls and travel restrictions are unlikely to be lifted anytime soon. The partial shutdown would not affect the five-star hotel’s restaurants, bars, spa, and conference and banquet facilities, which this month have almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels, it said. “Mandarin Oriental Taipei will suspend all guestroom services from June 1 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the hotel said after four months of maintaining normal operations proved unsustainable. The change necessitates downsizing and the hotel is handling