China delays coal imports
Glencore PLC sees politics as being behind China’s move to delay customs clearances of Australian coal imports and is awaiting a resolution to the “diplomatic dispute,” according to the head of the mining giant. “We’re waiting and monitoring to see what big effect it has, what effect it’s going to have, when they are going to resolve this diplomatic dispute,” Glencore chief executive officer Ivan Glasenberg told analysts on Wednesday after the release of the company’s financial results. Customs clearance of the coal shipments has been delayed by as long as 40 days, raising speculation that China is targeting Australia at a time of strained relations between the two nations. Australia is seeking clarification from the Chinese government on the delays.
S&P lowers Nissan rating
Nissan Motor Co had its debt rating cut by S&P Global Ratings, which said the Japanese automaker’s earnings would continue to experience downward pressure for as long as two years. The company’s rating was lowered to “A-” from “A”, S&P said in a statement yesterday. The outlook on the long-term rating is stable, S&P said. Nissan cut its full-year earnings forecast this month after third-quarter profit missed analysts’ estimates, adding to the headwinds for the automaker grappling with the aftermath of the shock arrest of iconic former chairman Carlos Ghosn.
Tax online firms more: report
Internet giants, such as Amazon.com Inc, Asos PLC and Boohoo Group PLC, should pay higher taxes to help save ailing shopping districts that are losing revenue to e-commerce, a government report that was released yesterday said. An online sales tax, higher value-added tax and “green” taxes on shipping and packaging should all be considered to help soften the blow to physical stores as consumers shift to Internet shopping, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee report said. Amazon’s tax rates amount to about 0.7 percent of its UK revenue, while most street-based retailers pay double to eight times that.
Private sector grows slightly
The eurozone’s private sector this month barely expanded amid a slump in manufacturing that is feeding anxiety over the economic outlook. While IHS Markit’s composite purchasing managers’ index rose to 51.4, indicating a slight pickup in the pace of expansion, growth was modest and driven exclusively by services. The 19-nation economy would struggle to expand by more than 0.1 percent in the first quarter, the report said. New orders fell for a second month and inflation pressures eased.
Saudi curbs could hit income
BAE Systems PLC cautioned that the nation’s restrictions on granting export licenses to Saudi Arabia after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi could weigh on earnings this year. The government has halted the granting of export licenses, which has triggered diplomatic efforts by the UK to resolve the matter. The country is a partner with Britain on programs including the Eurofighter warplane, for which Saudi Arabia is the biggest export customer. Little more was revealed about the status of that new Saudi Arabian order, with BAE saying it “continues to progress towards” an agreement following an outline deal last year.
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
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,
Swancor Renewable Energy Co (上緯新能源) yesterday announced plans for a 4.4 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind project off Miaoli County as part of its commitment toward Taiwan’s energy transformation, the company said in a statement. The “Formosa 4” project includes three deep-water wind farms 18km to 20km off the coast, Swancor Renewable CEO Lucas Lin (林雍堯) said, adding that planning for the project began last year. A proposal for Formosa 4 was this week submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company said. Swancor Renewable jointly developed the Formosa 1 project, a 128 megawatt (MW) wind farm about 4km off Miaoli and the