Tencent overtakes Facebook
China’s social media and video game giant Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊) yesterday overtook Facebook Inc in market value as investors sent the company soaring to the top five list of the world’s biggest firms. Tencent’s shares, traded in Hong Kong, have doubled in value this year as the tech company’s earnings have repeatedly outmatched analysts’ expectations. A second stock connection with China, which opened late last year, has allowed even more money to flow onto the territory’s exchange. By yesterday afternoon, Tencent’s market capitalization had reached HK$4.15 trillion (US$531.3 billion), surpassing Facebook’s US$519 billion.
Luminant to cut 600 jobs
Electricity generator Luminant is cutting about 600 jobs as it closes three coal-fired power plants and a mine in Texas. The Texas Workforce Commission on Monday said that Luminant plans to make the layoffs in January next year. Luminant previously announced that it would shutter the Monticello, Big Brown and Sandow power plants. The filing with regulators puts a number on the affected jobs, nearly half of which are at the Three Oaks mine near Elgin. The company is closing the plants because of competition from cheap natural gas, low wholesale power prices and an increase in renewable generation.
Groups urge Chrysler recall
The Center for Auto Safety is asking the government for a recall of Chrysler Pacifica minivans over complaints that the engines can stall without warning. The group on Monday petitioned the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, asking for an investigation and a recall of 150,000 minivans from this model year. The group says more than 50 people have complained to the government about stalling and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has not been able to fix the problem. Fiat Chrysler said it takes customer concerns seriously and does not know of any crashes or injuries due to the issue. The company says it is monitoring data and would respond if it shows a safety defect.
Bidvest to buy FinGlobal
Bidvest Group Ltd’s banking unit agreed to buy FinGlobal, a provider of financial services to South Africans living outside the country, as part of an acquisition drive to expand and diversify its business. Bidvest Bank is to fund the purchase out of its 2 billion rand (US$141.8 million) in cash reserves, managing director Japie van Niekerk said yesterday by telephone. The acquisition gives the lender access to FinGlobal’s more than 15,000 customers in 80 nations, offering tax refunds, foreign-exchange services and retirement annuities.
Goldman must return shares
A court ruled against Goldman Sachs Group Inc and ordered it to return shares of PT Hanson International to its founder Benny Tjokrosaputro. Goldman must pay 320.8 billion rupiah (US$23.7 million) in material damages to Tjokrosaputro for an “illegal transaction” of Hanson shares, Judge Achmad Guntur said yesterday in the South Jakarta District Court. The judge also rejected a US$1 billion counterclaim the US bank filed last year against a lawsuit by Tjokrosaputro, in which he alleged that the firm’s stake in Hanson was improperly obtained. “We are surprised and disappointed at today’s ruling by the South Jakarta Court and will be appealing it at the earliest opportunity,” Goldman Sachs spokesman Edward Naylor said.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca