Lenovo misses projections
Lenovo Group Ltd’s (聯想) quarterly earnings missed projections as the world’s largest personal computer maker struggles to reboot a floundering PC and smartphone business. Net income fell 67 percent to US$98 million in the quarter that ended in December last year, Lenovo said in a filing. Revenue was down 6 percent to US$12.2 billion. Lenovo remains the world leader in a personal computer market struggling through a prolonged downturn as people opt for smartphones to handle everyday tasks. A rise in component prices also pressured margins. The Beijing-based company is negotiating a deal to tie up with Japan’s Fujitsu Ltd and shore up its position, an imperative given the smartphone business it bought with Motorola remains unprofitable.
DBS profit at two-year low
DBS Group Holdings Ltd (星展銀行), Southeast Asia’s largest bank, reported its lowest quarterly profit in two years as bad-loan provisions almost doubled, overshadowing higher fees and trading income. Net income fell 9 percent to S$913 million (US$643 million) for the three months ended Dec. 31 last year from USS$1 billion a year earlier, the Singapore-based bank said yesterday in an exchange statement. That missed the S$1.014 billion average forecast of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Allowances for credit and other losses jumped 87 percent in the quarter from a year earlier to S$462 million, a “significant part” of which was due to cover the energy services industry, it said. The amount was slightly higher than the S$440 million estimated by RHB Research Institute.
Visitors shun US over ban
Marriott International Inc, the world’s biggest hotel operator, lost a small amount of group business due to travel restrictions under US President Donald Trump’s executive order last month, chief financial officer Leeny Oberg said. “We are aware of a handful of groups who have said, ‘You know what? I’m going to go elsewhere,’” Oberg said in a telephone interview after Marriott announced its fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday. “Whether there’s a marked impact, I think it’s too soon to tell.” Group business tends to have a longer lead time, “so it’s going to take a little while to discern the impact,” she said.
Star hit by China clampdown
China’s clampdown on overseas casino operators is being felt in Sydney as Star Entertainment Group Ltd reported a slump in its international high-rollers business after the detention of employees of rival Crown Resorts Ltd in China. Turnover from international VIP clients slumped 27 percent in November and December last year, the company said in a statement yesterday. Star, which operates Sydney’s only licensed casino, said the October last year detentions in China have created “uncertainty” and “caution” and it is looking to Southeast Asia to generate more high-roller income to reduce its reliance on China. Star’s earnings from the VIP business were also hurt from the sales and marketing costs tied to the diversification, the company said. Net income after tax in the six months ended Dec. 31 last year more than doubled to A$141.8 million (US$109 million), partly because a higher win rate against VIP gamblers. Historically, 80 percent of Star’s VIP business comes from Hong Kong, Macau and China, Bekier said on a call with investors.
STEPPING UP: The firm has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week and to halt all but essential overseas business travel from next month Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has implemented a remote work policy for employees not on production lines in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. This is the first time in the Hsinchu-based company’s history that it has launched a large-scale remote work policy, joining global technology companies, such as Apple Inc and Google, that encourage employees to work from home. The chipmaker has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week, it said. As the number of virus infections continues to climb worldwide, TSMC has urged employees to halt unnecessary
A two-hour drive south of Amsterdam in Veldhoven, workers decked out head-to-toe in protective gear toil in vast assembly halls. Before entering the inner sanctuary of the facilities, they meticulously layer on masks, gloves and special socks. A single speck of dust or a hair can have devastating effects on production. The result of all this painstaking process is an environment that is 10,000 times more purified than outside. As COVID-19 grips the world, it might just be the safest place to work right now. The teams belong to ASML Holding NV, which holds a de facto monopoly on the industry of
DBS Bank Ltd yesterday hacked its GDP growth forecast for Taiwan this year to 0.9 percent, down from its estimate of 2.3 percent two months earlier, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing financial market volatility. The bank’s latest forecast was even lower than London-based IHS Markit Ltd’s estimate of 1 percent, while other research institutes’ projections range from 1.6 percent to 2.6 percent. Taiwan’s economic momentum is being negatively affected by the pandemic, DBS said. The rapid spread of the disease from Asia to Europe and the US has dampened the bank’s previous expectation of a “V-shaped” global rebound in the
DOWNSIDE RISKS: Firms have a ‘very low’ chance of boosting investment returns in the next two years, making it hard for them to improve their capitalization, an analyst said Taiwanese life insurers wanting to improve their capital structure face strong headwinds this year, given prolonged low interest rates and economic impacts derived from trade protectionism and the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan Ratings Corp (中華信評) said on Friday. The local life insurance sector also still has high asset risks and such risks are susceptible to market volatility, the local arm of Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings said. Since last year, major financial holding companies — including CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控), Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) and Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) — have announced plans to raise fresh capital to