ITC to probe patent claim
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) said on Friday it had voted to open an investigation of certain graphics systems and components used in televisions, smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronics. The investigation, based on a complaint by Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD), alleges that the sale of certain graphics systems imported into the US infringes upon AMD patents. The ITC identified LG Electronics Inc, VIZIO Inc, MediaTek Inc (聯發科) and Sigma Designs Inc as respondents.
S&P raises Russia outlook
Standard & Poor’s raised its outlook for Russia’s credit rating to “positive” from “stable” on Friday, citing improving growth prospects and a lower risk of large capital outflows. S&P said that after two years of recession, Russia was expected to resume economic growth this year, “averaging about 1.7 percent in 2017-2020.” It added that “relatively low prices, structural impediments and sanctions” will however continue to hinder a rebound in GDP, which it expects will increase by 1.5 percent this year.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
PepsiCo CEO paid even more
PepsiCo Inc chief executive officer Indra Nooyi received US$29.8 million in compensation for last year, a 13 percent increase, as efforts to steer the company’s portfolio away from sugary products helped earnings. Nooyi, 61, received US$14.4 million in cash bonuses and US$8.91 million in stock awards, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. Her package also includes a US$1.73 million salary. It is her fourth consecutive raise.
Tiffany & Co beats forecasts
Tiffany & Co on Friday reported fourth-quarter earnings of US$157.8 million. On a per-share basis, the New York firm posted net income of US$1.26. Adjusted for asset impairment costs, per-share earnings were US$1.45. That exceeded Wall Street expectations of US$1.37 per share, according to a Zacks Investment Research survey. The jeweler posted revenue of US$1.23 billion, with sales in the Asia-Pacific region rising 9 percent. For the year, it had a profit of US$446.1 million, or US$3.55 per share. Revenue was US$4 billion.
Budvar brews record high
Production of Budvar beer, which has been embroiled in a legal dispute with US giant Anheuser-Busch over the use of the “Budweiser” brand, reached a record last year. Budejovicky Budvar NP, a Czech state-owned brewery, said on Friday that its output rose 0.8 percent to 1.615 million hectoliters of beer, the highest volume in its 120-year history. It said it sells about 60 percent of its production abroad.
Credit Suisse cuts Asian jobs
Credit Suisse Group AG is cutting at least half a dozen equities jobs in Hong Kong and Tokyo, as the bank continues to rein in costs and boost returns, according to sources. Among those leaving the Zurich-based bank are Matt Pecot, head of prime services for Asia-Pacific, and Jamie White, a Hong Kong-based director for sales trading, the people said. Credit Suisse also let go four equities analysts in Tokyo, they said. The bank announced in December it will cut an additional 1 billion Swiss francs (US$1 billion) in costs.