KKR co-invests in waste firm
KKR & Co is bringing its impact fund into a deal for an Indian waste-collection firm, seeking to boost sustainability and profitability via a new co-investing strategy. The US$510 million transaction for a 60 percent stake in Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd closed yesterday, KKR said in a statement. “In this case, the more waste that Ramky is able to responsibly treat, process and recycle, the more money the company’s going to make,” KKR Global Impact cohead Ken Mehlman said in an interview.
Toshiba may halve forecast
Toshiba Corp is preparing to cut its full-year profit forecast by at least half, hurt in part by higher expenses in its energy business, Nikkei Asian Review reported, without saying where its information originated. Operating profit in the year that ends next month might range from ￥20 billion to ￥30 billion (US$180 million to US$270 million) when the company posts results tomorrow, far below the ￥60 billion it projected in November, Nikkei reported. Toshiba spokeswoman Midori Hara said a decision has not been made on a profit revision.
Market balance in Q1: UAE
The oil market should reach a balance between supply and demand this quarter, United Arab Emirates Oil Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei told al-Arabiya television yesterday. He said he was satisfied with the implementation of an agreement to cut supply by OPEC members and allies, including Russia, by 1.2 million barrels per day from Jan. 1. Mazrouei said it was premature to discuss compensating crude output losses in some of the exporting countries.
UBS changes bonus system
UBS Group AG scrapped variable bonuses for about 10,000 employees at its corporate center and instead would pay them about 1 percent of their annual salary, spokesman Igor Moser confirmed. The change was first reported by newspaper Sonntagszeitung. Employees who would have seen their total compensation fall as a result would have their fixed salary topped up. The corporate center includes functions such as human resources and information technology. Staff who earn between 50,000 francs and 100,000 francs (US$50,000 and US$100,000) are affected by the change.
Halal label to be mandatory
Indonesia is set to make halal labeling mandatory for consumer products and services this year with the government assuming greater control of the certifying process from the Islamic cleric council. Issuing halal certificates to consumer goods from shampoos to toothpaste and cosmetics may net the government about 22.5 trillion rupiah (US$1.6 billion) in annual revenue, Product Guarantee Agency head Sukoso said. The draft bill is awaiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s approval, he said.
Airbnb contests Paris claim
Airbnb Inc said that rules for short-term tourist rentals in Paris are excessively bureaucratic and might breach EU standards, as city authorities seek a 12.5 million euro (US$14 million) fine against the online home-stay firm for posting 1,000 illegal advertisements. The terms set by city hall “are inefficient, disproportionate and against European regulations,” a spokeswoman for Airbnb said in an e-mail on Sunday. Under French law, Paris homeowners must register the business with their local municipality and ads have to bear the registration number.
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,
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
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