Qatari bank to expand
Commercial Bank of Qatar QSC is planning a capital increase of as much as US$1 billion in its Turkish unit to expand in the country, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The Doha-based lender is seeking to raise between US$500 million and US$1 billion from existing shareholders of Alternatifbank AS and international financial institutions, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. CBQ bought a 71 percent stake in Alternatifbank in 2013 and increased it to full ownership last year.
Porsche tests subscriptions
Porsche is to begin an app-based subscription service next month, joining the ranks of automakers experimenting with more flexible ownership models as ride hailing and smartphones upend traditional auto retailing. The length of the pilot, called Porsche Passport, is open-ended and initially would be limited to just 50 people in Atlanta, said Klaus Zellmer, president of North America for the Volkswagen AG unit. The first subscription tier starts at US$2,000 a month and allows users to summon a 718 Boxster, Cayman S, Macan S or Cayenne on demand. For US$3,000 a month, drivers would gain access to 22 different Porsche models.
BNP to end oil sands funds
BNP Paribas SA yesterday promised to stop financing shale and oil sands projects as part of its latest efforts to tackle climate change. France’s biggest bank would no longer do business with companies whose main business stems from oil and gas obtained from shale or oil sands, it said in a statement. The policy covers companies involved in activities ranging from exploration to marketing and trading. The bank added that it would not fund oil or gas projects in the Arctic region.
Toshiba off watchlist
The Tokyo Stock Exchange yesterday said it removed Toshiba Corp from its watchlist for delisting after seeing better internal controls and efforts to improve corporate governance. Toshiba has made progress with its bookkeeping since an accounting scandal in 2015 and the disclosure of multibillion-dollar losses in its nuclear business in December last year, the exchange said. The company still has negative shareholders equity and could be delisted if it is not able to meet listing requirements, the exchange said. Toshiba signed an agreement on Sept. 28 to sell its flash memory chip business to a group led by Bain Capital for about ￥2 trillion (US$18 billion), in an effort to reach positive shareholder equity.
Indian demands accelerates
Steel demand in India is gathering speed amid an infrastructure building boom that is set to more than double capacity of the nation’s mills, the government said. “We’re expecting domestic consumption to accelerate in the decade between 2020 and 2030,” Indian Secretary of Steel Aruna Sharma said in New Delhi. Annual capacity stands at 126 million tonnes and is forecast to rise to 150 million tonnes by 2021, before settling at 300 million tonnes, she said. India is in the midst of a wave of urbanization that is set to boost demand for everything from copper to iron ore to steel as the economy expands over the next two decades, an Australian government report said. It has taken seven years for per capita steel consumption to rise to 60kg from 50kg and just 18 months to get to 64kg this year, Sharma said.
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