Amazon in Flipkart talks
Amazon.com Inc might put in a rival bid to acquire Bangalore-based Flipkart Online Services Pvt even as the Indian e-commerce market leader is in talks with Walmart Inc for a majority stake sale, according to the Mint newspaper. Amazon has held early exploratory discussions to buy Flipkart, the newspaper reported, citing unidentified people. However, it said a deal with Walmart is more likely to go through. The world’s biggest retailer is closing in on acquiring 55 percent of Flipkart through a mix of primary and secondary share purchases that could value the Indian company at US$21 billion, the report said.
US sales rise by 6.3 percent
US auto sales last month grew 6.3 percent on rising sales of sports utility vehicles (SUV) and pickup trucks. Automakers sold more than 1.6 million vehicles for the month as buyers came out of hibernation after a cold, snowy winter in much of the country. Truck and SUV sales rose 16.3 percent, while car sales plunged 9.2 percent, Autodata Corp said. Nearly two-thirds of all vehicles sold were trucks or SUVs. General Motors Co posted the biggest sales increase at 15.7 percent to 296,138 vehicles and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV reported almost a 13.6 percent increase to 216,063 vehicles. Ford Motor Co also saw sales rise 3.5 percent to 243,021 units.
BOJ spends record on funds
It has been a bad year for the Tokyo stock market. Without record purchases by the Bank of Japan (BOJ), it could have been even worse. The central bank spent ￥833 billion (US$7.85 billion) on exchange-traded funds tracking the country’s shares last month, the biggest amount in data stretching back to late in 2010. In the first quarter it also bought more than ever before. The bank stepped in as the market slumped in a global equity rout, deserted by foreign investors, with the benchmark Topix index sinking to its first back-to-back monthly declines since the beginning of 2016.
Softbank mulls Swiss deal
Swiss reinsurance giant Swiss Re AG yesterday said talks were ongoing with Softbank Group Corp, but that the Japanese group would likely take a stake of no more than 10 percent, much less than earlier expectations. Swiss Re announced that it was in talks the technology investor in February, but had never mentioned the size of the possible stake. Financial news media, including Bloomberg, have cited sources familiar with the talks as saying the Japanese firm could take up to a third of Swiss Re for more than US$10 billion. At current share prices, a 10 percent stake in Swiss Re would be worth about US$3.5 billion.
New York Fed selects head
The New York Federal Reserve Bank on Tuesday said that it has selected John Williams to take the helm of the institution that is key to monitoring financial markets and implementing US central bank policy. Williams, who heads the San Francisco Fed and previously served as Former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s deputy, is to assume the New York position on June 18. He is to replace William Dudley who announced in November last year that he would be retiring a few months early.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported that revenue last month expanded 25 percent annually, but fell 12.8 percent month-on-month to NT$105.96 billion (US$3.59 billion). In the first seven months of this year, the chipmaker’s revenue surged 33.6 percent to NT$727.26 billion, compared with NT$544.46 billion a year earlier. TSMC has said it aims to grow its revenue by more than 20 percent this year. The company has since May 15 stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies Co (華為), its second-biggest customer after Apple Inc, due to the US’ restrictions on exports containing US technologies. TSMC has no plans to