Eastman wins dumping case
The Department of Commerce on Tuesday said South Korean companies were importing a resin used in making plastics at less than fair value. The finding vindicated a complaint lodged by Eastman Chemical Co, a major producer of specialty plastics. An anti-dumping investigation by the department determined that South Korean imports of Dioctyl terephthalate had been sold in the nation at prices 2.7 percent to 4 percent below fair value. The nation’s imports of the product from South Korea came to US$32.5 million last year. The department is due to make a final determination by Aug. 3.
Official touts interest rate
The minister of finance said the country has managed to secure the lowest-ever interest rate on a public bond issue, hailing it as a strong signal of trust from international markets in the economy. Minister of Finance Harris Georgiades said Tuesday’s seven-year bond issue raised 850 million euros (US$946.35 million), carrying a 2.75 percent interest rate. He said the money would be used to pay off older loans with higher interest rates. These include a 288 million euro loan from the IMF that carried a 3.52 percent interest rate. Georgiades said the significant savings in interest rate payments would be channeled to bolster the economy.
Exchange rates to be flexible
The nation is to begin the process of moving toward a flexible exchange rate system gradually in the second half, the governor of the country’s central bank said on Tuesday. The North African country has had a fixed exchange rate regime for the dirham since the 1970s. “There will be no devaluation. We are not in a situation of currency crisis,” central bank Governor Abdellatif Jouahri said. “The IMF did not impose anything on us. It is a voluntary decision.” Moroccan media have reported that the full liberalization of the dirham would take up to 15 years.
Ericsson assesses media
Ericsson AB has hired banks to review its media businesses as the company refocuses on its main wireless network-equipment operations by selling assets, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Ericsson is working with Morgan Stanley to explore a sale of its media solutions business, the people said. Separately, the Stockholm-based company hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc to find a buyer for its broadcast and media services unit, the people said. The businesses have attracted interest from private equity firms as well as technology and media companies, the people said.
JBS announces divestment
Brazilian meatpacking giant JBS SA has announced a US$1.8 billion divestment plan to reduce its debt and financial leverage. The world’s largest meatpacker said on Tuesday in a statement that it plans to sell its US-based unit, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding; shareholding stakes in Brazilian dairy company Vigor Alimentos; and Moy Park, its poultry business in Northern Ireland. The meatpacker earlier this month sold its units in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay for US$300 million to companies controlled by a rival meat processing company in Brazil. JBS executives are at the center of a political crisis engulfing Brazilian President Michel Temer.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
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
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be