EU accused of foul-play
China has condemned the European Commission for imposing new anti-dumping duties on its steel products, accusing the EU’s executive of making China an industrial scapegoat. The 28-nation bloc on Friday said that it would levy duties of up to 35.9 percent on Chinese hot-rolled flat steel in an attempt to create a level playing field with China as it broadens its campaign to protect Europe’s struggling steel manufacturers. The EU alleged China, which makes more than half the world’s steel, has flooded global markets in violation of international trade agreements.
Moody’s downgrades S Africa
Credit ratings agency Moody’s on Friday said it had downgraded South Africa a notch over gloomy growth prospects and the political instability unleashed by corruption scandals engulfing South African President Jacob Zuma. Africa’s most advanced economy was knocked down from “Baa2” to “Baa3” — one notch above junk status — with a negative outlook, Moody’s said in a statement. Fitch and Standard & Poor’s, the other two main global ratings agencies, already downgraded South Africa to junk status after Zuma’s shock purge of critical ministers in March, including respected former South African minister of finance Pravin Gordhan.
Pandora to take on Spotify
Pandora Media Inc is raising cash to help it take on Spotify Ltd and other streaming music services. The online music service is selling a 19 percent stake in its business to satellite radio company Sirius XM Holdings Inc for US$480 million. Pandora is to pay a US$22.5 million break-up fee to private equity firm KKR for breaking up a previously agreed US$150 million deal. Pandora, which is based in Oakland, California, is to raise another US$200 million selling its Ticketfly ticket service to Eventbrite — a service Pandora bought for US$450 million in 2015. Sirius will be able to pick three people for Pandora’s board, one of whom is to be chairman.
Oil workers reach deal
Norwegian oil and gas firms yesterday secured a wage agreement with workers, ending the threat of a strike that would have cut output at five fields, employers said. The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, which negotiated on behalf of energy firms, had warned that a strike by the Lederne trade union would have cut oil and gas output by 443,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The five fields that were under threat of strike are operated by Statoil ASA, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Eni SpA.
Toshiba to build US reactors
Money-losing Japanese nuclear and electronics company Toshiba Corp is to pay US$3.68 billion toward the construction of two reactors in Vogtle, Georgia, by its US unit Westinghouse, which has filed for bankruptcy protection. Tokyo-based Toshiba yesterday said the payment, under agreement with the operator of the US plant, are to be made from October through January 2021. Toshiba said the expense has already been figured in its earnings. Toshiba reported a ￥950 billion (US$8.6 billion) loss for the fiscal year ended in March. Toshiba is still in similar talks over a South Carolina plant about such payments.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Swancor Renewable Energy Co (上緯新能源) yesterday announced plans for a 4.4 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind project off Miaoli County as part of its commitment toward Taiwan’s energy transformation, the company said in a statement. The “Formosa 4” project includes three deep-water wind farms 18km to 20km off the coast, Swancor Renewable CEO Lucas Lin (林雍堯) said, adding that planning for the project began last year. A proposal for Formosa 4 was this week submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company said. Swancor Renewable jointly developed the Formosa 1 project, a 128 megawatt (MW) wind farm about 4km off Miaoli and the
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,