Toshiba warns WD over sale
Toshiba Corp on Wednesday fired another legal missive at manufacturing partner Western Digital Corp (WD), warning the US company to stop its “harassment” as the Japanese company tries to sell its flash memory business. Toshiba sent a letter to Western Digital’s chief legal officer forcefully reasserting its right to auction off the business in which the two companies hold certain assets together. The letter said the joint venture only owns equipment — and nothing more — and that the value of those joint assets is less than 5 percent of the Japanese company’s chip business.
Swiss bank raises US$4.3bn
Credit Suisse Group AG investors on Wednesday agreed to buy 99.2 percent of the shares on sale in a rights offering, raising 4.1 billion Swiss francs (US$4.3 billion) for chief executive officer Tidjane Thiam’s turnaround plan. Credit Suisse plans to sell the unsubscribed shares in the market, the Zurich-based bank said in a statement after markets closed. The shares, offered at SF10.80, are expected to begin trading today.
Sony sells 1m VR headsets
Sony Corp has sold more than 1 million units of its virtual reality (VR) headset globally, the Asia chief of the Japanese firm’s gaming unit said on Wednesday, as a relatively low price helps push the product into an early lead. Sales of the PlayStation VR headset, released in October last year, have “exceeded our expectations,” Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia president Atsushi Morita said in an interview. “We are boosting production and a supply shortage should be solved accordingly.”
German output rises 0.8%
Industrial production in Europe’s largest economy rebounded faster than expected in April from a March slump, official data showed yesterday, beating analysts’ expectations. Manufacturing grew 0.8 percent compared with the previous month, adjusting for seasonal effects, federal statistics authority Destatis said. The statisticians also issued a revised figure for March, showing a fall in industrial output of just 0.1 percent — an improvement on the 0.4 percent previously reported.
China beats forecasts
China posted a forecast-busting surge in exports and imports for last month, official data showed yesterday, signaling an improvement in the world’s second-largest economy. Exports rose 8.7 percent to US$191 billion while imports jumped 14.8 percent to US$150.2 billion year-on-year. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News had forecast a 7.2 percent rise in exports and 8.3 percent increase in imports. The trade surplus rose to US$40.8 billion, up US$2 billion from April.
Japan’s Q1 GDP disappoints
Japan yesterday posted lower-than-expected growth in the first quarter, but official data still confirmed that the nation saw its longest economic expansion in more than a decade. The world’s No. 3 economy grew 0.3 percent between January and March — or 1.0 percent at an annualized rate — which was down from a preliminary estimate of 0.5 percent growth. The unexpected downgrade was also below market expectations for an upward revision to 0.6 percent growth. Japan’s current account rose 7.5 percent year-on-year to ￥1.95 trillion (US$17 billion) in April.
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
BULK PURCHASE: The French chain and Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International reached a deal covering 224 stores, which is expected to be finalized by year’s end Carrefour SA yesterday announced it would acquire Wellcome Taiwan Co (惠康百貨) for 97 million euros (US$108.33 million), and bring all the Wellcome supermarkets (頂好超市) and Jasons Market Place stores nationwide under its banner within 12 months of the deal closing. The France-based hypermarket chain reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings (牛奶國際控股), the pan-Asian retailer that launched Wellcome Taiwan in 1987. The transaction involves 199 Wellcome supermarkets, which have average sales areas of 420m2 and 25 high-end Jasons Market Place stores, which have an average sales area of 820m2, as well as a warehouse in Taoyuan, Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福)
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the