Yum China rejects buyout
Yum China Holdings Inc (百勝中國), which operates Pizza Hut and KFC restaurants in China, has rejected a buyout offer from an investor group led by Hillhouse Capital Group, a person familiar with the matter said. The proposal to take over the nation’s biggest fast-food operator valued the firm at US$17 billion, or US$46 per share in cash, the Wall Street Journal reported. That represents a 28 percent premium over Monday’s closing price, but it is still lower than an all-time high of US$48.18 reached in January.
Buyers optimistic, cautious
Strong growth has made consumers more optimistic about the economy, a regular poll showed yesterday, but the public remains cautious about their own finances. A monthly survey of about 2,000 people by GfK forecast a 0.1 point fall in its consumer confidence barometer for next month to 10.5 points. Looking at different elements of the survey, GfK said that consumers “see the economy on a solid growth path” after official data showed 0.5 percent sequential growth from April to June.
Confidence hits 18-year high
Consumer confidence rose this month to the highest level in nearly 18 years, as assessment of current conditions improved further and expectations about the future rebounded. The Conference Board on Tuesday reported that its consumer confidence index rose to 133.4 from 127.9 last month. It was the highest reading since confidence stood at 135.8 in October 2000. “These historically high confidence levels should continue to support health consumer spending in the near term,” Conference Board director of economic indicators Lynn Franco said.
Rate hike unnecessary
The central bank is under no immediate pressure to raise interest rates like emerging-market peers elsewhere, given the nation’s solid buffers and relatively strong currency, Bank of Thailand Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said yesterday. The bank is monitoring economic developments closely, including risks to the growth outlook from trade protectionism, Veerathai told Bloomberg Television. While inflation returned to the 1 percent to 4 percent target range, it remains subdued, he said.
Coke to buy Moxie brand
Coca-Cola Co is to buy New England cult favorite soda brand Moxie from one of its independent bottlers as it looks to house more of its up-and-coming beverage brands under one roof. The soda giant, which has completed the refranchising of its bottling operations in North America, has inked a deal to purchase Moxie from Coca-Cola of Northern New England for an undisclosed amount. The independent bottler will continue to produce and bottle the favorite, and the distribution footprint will not change under the new ownership.
Credit ratings downgraded
Ratings agency Moody’s on Tuesday downgraded its credit ratings on 20 financial institutions due to the increased risk of a “downside funding scenario” after the collapse of the Turkish lira. Moody’s said the downgrade affected 18 banks and two finance firms. It comes amid persistent concerns over the health of the economy, after the lira lost one-third of its value this month alone. Moody’s had earlier this month cut the debt rating of the government deeper into junk on the same concerns.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
Nano-X Imaging Ltd, a start-up founded by Israeli investor Ran Poliakine, is joining forces with South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc to build a machine that could disrupt a century-old X-ray industry. Valued at about US$2 billion after listing on the NASDAQ last month, Nano-X is seeking to transform a multibillion-dollar industry that has essentially relied on the same technology since Nobel Prize in Physics winner Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays in the late 19th century. Nano-X’s device uses semiconductors instead of metal filaments to generate X-rays. The backing of SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, is a boost for
Continental AG, which makes control units for Daimler AG cars, cannot pursue antitrust claims against a group of patent owners, including Qualcomm Inc, which are seeking royalties on telecommunications technology, a federal judge in Texas ruled. Avanci LLC, a licensing pool formed by Qualcomm, Nokia Oyj, Sharp Corp and other owners of patents on technology standards, is not breaching antitrust laws when it negotiates license agreements with automakers rather than the component makers, Barbara Lynn, chief district judge for the Northern District of Texas, said in dismissing the suit in a decision posted on Friday. The licensing group charges US$15 per vehicle
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into