Pipeline leak kills contractor
A contractor was killed and three other workers were injured in a pipeline leak, state-owned oil giant Aramco said yesterday. Aramco tweeted that the leak occurred at the Abqaiq facility, 60km southwest of the company’s main Dhahran compound. The two contractors have since been discharged from hospital. The country is looking to diversify its oil-dependent economy and plans to list Aramco on the stock market in 2018. The kingdom has announced budget cutbacks after its 2015 deficit snowballed to US$97 billion.
Tax cut to include big banks
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has rejected calls from some lawmakers to exclude the nation’s four big banks from a planned company tax cut. “A company tax rate has got to really go across all corporations,” Turnbull said on Saturday in Queenstown, New Zealand. “Distinguishing between one sector and another is not a practical measure. I’m not aware of that ever being done in any other jurisdiction.” Some backbench lawmakers from the ruling Liberal-National coalition have called for big banks to be cut out of the government’s US$48.7 billion plan to reduce the company tax rate to 25 percent from 30 percent, according to the Australian newspaper.
Accenture to hire in US
Technology consulting and services company Accenture Ltd on Friday announced plans to boost its US workforce by 30 percent in the coming three years. The company said it will create “15,000 highly skilled new jobs” in the US, increasing the size of its overall workforce in the country to more than 65,000 by the end of 2020. The hiring would come with the creation of 10 new “innovation hubs” and an investment of US$1.4 billion in training employees “leading-edge capabilities” for doing their jobs. “Today marks a key moment for Accenture to help our clients play an even bigger part in the nation’s growth and innovation agenda,” Accenture chief executive officer Julie Sweet said.
BofA head to get US$20m
Bank of America Corp (BofA) chief executive officer Brian Moynihan is getting a big pay raise this year. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank on Friday said that its board of directors awarded Moynihan a pay package of US$20 million for last year, up from his package of US$16 million for his work in 2015. Most of that pay package is to come in the form of stock, about US$18.5 million, compared with Moynihan’s US$1.5 million base salary. The board said the pay was reflective of the big jump in profits the bank experienced last year. The bank last year earned US$17.9 billion in full-year profits, up 13 percent from 2015.
Paramount eyes new leader
Viacom Inc is in discussions with Paramount Pictures chief Brad Grey about a change in leadership at the studio after a string of box office duds, according to a person familiar with the talks. Changes could be announced next week, the person said. Grey, 59, has been chairman and chief executive officer of Paramount since 2005, the longest tenure of any current studio head. The film business initially thrived under his direction, but its performance dropped precipitously more recently. The studio lost US$445 million on sales of US$2.66 billion last year.
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
’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
‘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