S African firm’s profit falls
Telkom SA SOC Ltd cut its dividend and reported a slump in full-year earnings as South Africa’s biggest provider of fixed phone lines struggles with a decline in its traditional voice services. The Pretoria-based company reduced the annual payout to shareholders by 16 percent to 3.55 rand (US$0.29) per share, it said in a statement yesterday. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the year ending in March fell 3.6 percent to 10.5 billion rand. The carrier reported a 47 percent increase in service revenue from mobile customers to 5.15 billion rand, supporting CEO Sipho Maseko’s push into new revenue streams to sustain the company. Telkom started its mobile unit, the country’s fourth-biggest with just over 5 million subscribers, to bolster its service offering to consumers.
Investa gets takeover offer
Blackstone Group LP offered A$3.14 billion (US$2.38 billion) for Investa Office Fund in an attempt to land one of Australia’s most pursued property companies and dozens of office buildings across the country. The New York-based buyout company offered A$5.25 in cash for each share of the real-estate investment trust, 13 percent more than Friday’s closing price, Investa said in a statement yesterday. Investa’s directors plan to unanimously recommend that investors vote for the deal unless there’s a better offer. Investa has attracted suitors since at least 2015, when Dexus Property Group proposed a deal valued at about A$2.5 billion, a tie-up that was subsequently rejected by unit-holders.
ISP mulls Vietnam deal
International Schools Partnership Ltd (ISP) is in talks to invest in the Canadian International School Vietnam, people with knowledge of the matter said, as foreign firms flock to Southeast Asian education deals. UK-based ISP, which is backed by Swiss buyout firm Partners Group Holding AG, is conducting due diligence on the school and could purchase a majority stake for about US$150 million including debt, one of the people said. The parties could sign an agreement as soon as next month, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Southeast Asian school operators have been attracting interest from foreign investors including TPG and Swedish buyout firm EQT Partners AB, which are betting that rising incomes will translate into increased education spending.
Announcement boosts lira
The lira and Turkish bonds rallied as the Turkish Central Bank decided to simplify monetary policy. The currency surged the most in more than a year as the bank said it would start using the one-week repo, which has not been used as its main funding tool since January last year, as its policy rate starting on Friday. The one-week rate has been set at 16.5 percent, the bank said in a statement. The change would help convince the market about the bank’s “policy independence and its commitment to do more,” Global Securities analysts including Sertan Kargin wrote in a note in the morning, referring to a news report that said policymakers were planning to set up a more symmetric structure by making the overnight lending and borrowing rates equidistant from the one-week repurchase rate. The lira strengthened 2.8 percent, set for the biggest gain since January last year, to 4.5870 per dollar. Bonds rose, with the yield on 10-year securities falling 46 basis points to 14.22 percent.
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
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
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to