Forced divestment unlikely
Australian banks are likely to get out of their wealth-management businesses without the need for government to force divestment, according to the head of a parliamentary banking inquiry. “You will see over time banks will get out of their wealth management businesses because it is an area that has caused them problems and it’s a relatively small proportion of their business,” ruling Liberal Party lawmaker David Coleman told Sky News Australia yesterday. “I’m not sure I would support forced divestment.”
Inflation eased last month
The nation’s inflation eased last month, signaling that the surge in prices that followed the government’s latest round of subsidy cuts may have peaked. The annual rate for urban areas dropped to 31.9 percent from 33 percent in July, according to data released yesterday by the official statistics agency. Prices rose 1.1 percent on the month, compared with 3.2 percent in July, a month after fuel and utility prices were raised.
HK-ASEAN pact ready
Hong Kong and ASEAN will sign a free-trade agreement (FTA) and a related investment agreement in November, according to a statement issued by the territory’s government on Saturday. The agreements are comprehensive in scope and would give the territory greater access to the ASEAN markets, create new business opportunities and enhance trade and investment flows, according to Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau (邱騰華). The trade negotiations between Hong Kong and ASEAN started in July 2014 and were completed in July this year.
China sees more gains
China’s foreign-exchange reserves posted a seventh straight gain last month as the yuan rose in its best monthly performance in at least a decade. The stockpile climbed US$11 billion to US$3.09 trillion, the People’s Bank of China said on Thursday. The figure is compared with a US$3.1 trillion estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Reserves denominated in the IMF reserve currency known as Special Drawing Rights were at SDR 2.19 trillion, little changed from July.
MIT portfolio gains 14.3%
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) posted an investment gain of 14.3 percent in fiscal 2017 as the endowment’s value reached US$14.8 billion. The school’s investment management company oversees a total of US$23.3 billion of endowment, retirement and operating funds, according to a statement on Friday. MIT, based in Cambridge, posted a gain of 0.8 percent last year. Its endowment is the sixth-largest in higher education in the US, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The value of the fund increased 12.1 percent in the 12 months through June 30.
CVC eyes Middle East
CVC Capital Partners is considering its first investment in the Middle East as Europe’s largest private equity firm works to expand its business into new areas. The London-based buyout firm has considered potential targets including United Arab Emirates-based shisha maker Al Fakher Tobacco Trading as well as education companies, people familiar with the matter said. It was also considering a bid for a stake in Emaar Properties PJSC’s entertainment division.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday posted monthly revenue that suggested second-quarter sales surpassed analysts’ estimates, underscoring how its technological lead is helping the chipmaker weather the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions on its second-biggest customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Apple Inc’s main iPhone chipmaker posted sales of NT$120.88 billion (US$4.08 billion) for last month, up 40.8 percent year-on-year and bringing its revenue for the second quarter to NT$310.7 billion, beating the NT$308.8 billion analysts expected on average. TSMC, a barometer for the industry thanks to its heft in the global supply chain, had previously lowered its revenue outlook for this
‘POSITIVE EFFECT’: Phison this year began shipping SSDs to Japan’s largest pachinko maker, which uses the components in its machines featuring high-resolution graphics Phison Electronics Corp (群聯電子), a designer of NAND flash memory controllers and modules, yesterday reported that revenue last quarter grew 11 percent from a year earlier on the back of new orders from Japan’s largest pachinko maker. Revenue last quarter expanded to NT$10.86 billion (US$366.82 million) from NT$9.79 billion a year earlier, Phison said. However, on a quarterly basis, revenue slumped 15.62 percent from NT$12.87 billion, it said. The Miaoli-based company said that it is benefiting from growing demand for solid-state drives (SSDs) used in devices beyond computers, which is stimulating growth for the NAND flash memory industry. Pachinko machines are one