Sun, Mar 05, 2017 - Page 16 News List

World Business Quick Take

Staff writer, with agencies

SEMICONDUCTORS

King Yuan’s profit surges

Taiwanese chip packager and tester King Yuan Electronics Co (京元電子) on Friday posted NT$2.98 billion (US$96.07 million) in net profit for last year, a 30 percent jump from 2015’s NT$2.28 billion. Earnings per share last year rose to NT$2.56 from NT$1.93 over the period, the company said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Buoyed by the strong results, the company’s board approved a cash dividend distribution of NT$1.4 per common share, representing 5.07 percent of dividend yield based on the stock’s closing price of NT$27.6 on Friday. The board also agreed to distribute a stock dividend of 4 percent.

TRADE

Mexico takes aim at NAFTA

Mexico is prepared to negotiate changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexican Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo said on Friday. He said Mexico is prepared to discuss revisions to “modernize” the agreement such as including labor and environmental standards. However, Guajardo said Mexico would not accept the tariffs called for by US President Donald Trump. “It makes no sense to introduce an agreement with border restrictions or tariffs,” he said.

AUTOMAKERS

Nissan misconduct alleged

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union said that Nissan Motor Co broke US federal labor law less than two days before a Mississippi rally where US Senator Bernie Sanders was to speak for unionization. The UAW said that on Thursday, a company security guard wrongfully stopped workers from distributing literature and asking fellow employees to authorize a union vote outside a gate of the Canton plant. Nissan spokesman Brian Brockman said the company is investigating, but is not sure yet what happened. Nissan management opposes a union. The choice ultimately belongs to workers, Brockman said.

MACROECONOMICS

PMI suggests UK slowing

Britain’s unexpectedly strong economic growth since June last year’s Brexit vote might be starting to fade as inflation picks up, according to a major business survey. Slowing consumer spending started to hurt services companies last month, an unpromising signal for the economy ahead of the departure, the Markit/CIPS UK Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed on Friday. The services PMI fell to a five-month low of 53.3 from January’s 54.5, suggesting the economy is now expanding at a quarterly pace of about 0.4 percent — much slower than the 0.7 percent expansion during the fourth quarter of last year.

ACQUISITIONS

UCF eyes Hong Kong Life

A consortium including China UCF Group Co (中國先鋒金融集團) is vying with Yue Xiu Group (越秀集團) to acquire Hong Kong Life Insurance Ltd (香港人壽), according to people familiar with the matter. UCF is in late-stage discussions with Hong Kong Life’s owners, who wish to reach an agreement by the end of the month, the people said. The Beijing-based financial group is bidding together with Hong Kong-listed Credit China FinTech Holdings Ltd (中國信貸科技控股), the people said. Hong Kong Life’s owners are discussing a valuation of more than US$700 million, one of the people said. Yue Xiu, an investment arm of Guangzhou, also remains in talks, the people said.

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