Fine to cut Alphabet profits
Alphabet Inc late on Friday said that the European Commission’s antitrust fine would reduce second-quarter profits by about US$2.74 billion. The company plans to report the fine in a separate operating expense line on its income statement. It is not tax deductible, so the charge would reduce Alphabet’s net income and earnings per share by the full US$2.74 billion, it said in a statement. Analysts expect Alphabet, the owner of Google, to report second-quarter net income of US$5.78 billion. Google has 90 days to deliver a solution that appeases EU regulators or face further fines.
Microsoft to focus on cloud
Microsoft Corp is planning a global sales reorganization to better focus on selling cloud software, people familiar with the matter said. The restructuring is scheduled to be announced as soon as next week and is to affect the firm’s Worldwide Commercial Business under Judson Althoff and Jean-Philippe Courtois’ global sales and marketing group, the people said. Job cuts are likely to result from the changes, the people said. The shifts are to be some of the most significant in the sales force in years and is to also affect local marketing efforts in various nations, people said. Microsoft declined to comment.
Berkshire buys BofA shares
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc is buying 700 million shares in Bank of America Corp (BofA), making Buffett the largest shareholder in two of the US’ largest banks. Berkshire on Friday said that it is to convert warrants purchased in Bank of America back in 2011, when the bank was struggling following the financial crisis, into common shares in the bank. Berkshire is to surpass mutual fund giant Vanguard Group Inc as the largest shareholder in the bank. Buffett is also the largest shareholder in Wells Fargo & Co.
Economy shrank by 0.5%
The nation’s economy shrank by 0.5 percent in the first quarter, illustrating the scale of the challenge facing its new heir as he overhauls an economy still reliant on a struggling oil industry. GDP was 643 billion riyals (US$171.5 billion), compared with 646.4 billion riyals in the same quarter last year, the General Authority for Statistics said on Friday in a report on its Web site, using preliminary data based on 2010 constant prices. The IMF expects economic growth to slow to 0.4 percent this year, the least since 2009. Saudi authorities have said they expect overall growth to exceed 1 percent this year.
Bride auction to change
Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride is losing a scene where a bound and tearful woman is on the auction block for pirates to buy as a wife. A banner that says: “Auction, take a wench for a bride,” is to be changed to: “Auction, Surrender yer loot,” and the woman is to become a pirate. Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown on Friday said the changes would be made at the Paris park this month and at the Anaheim, California, and Florida parks next year. The change is the most recent of several updates to the ride, including one where a scene was altered to have pirates chasing a woman’s food instead of the woman.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and