Chip tester seeks purchaser
UTAC Holdings Ltd, the Singapore-based chip testing firm backed by TPG Capital, has appointed Citigroup Inc to advise on a planned sale of its business, people with knowledge of the matter said. The company has started gauging interest from potential buyers, including private equity funds and Chinese semiconductor firms, the people said. The company explored options for the business last year, including a sale and an initial public offering, after completing a bond restructuring, Bloomberg News reported at the time.
Vietnam Air to update fleet
Vietnam Airlines is considering an order of 50 to 100 Boeing Co 737 Max airplanes this year to replace its aging fleet of Airbus SE single-aisle aircraft. The state-owned carrier might also buy long-range jets in preparation for flights to California. The new aircraft would be for delivery from 2020 to 2030, chief executive officer Duong Tri Thanh said in an interview in Hanoi. While Thanh did not specify which Max model the carrier plans to buy, based on list prices of the popular Max 8, the order would be valued at about US$6.1 billion to US$12.2 billion.
‘No deal’ brings bill due
British Steel Ltd could face a financial hit of ￡100 million (US$130.84 million) or more in three weeks’ time if British Prime Minister Theresa May is unable to secure a Brexit deal, two people familiar with the matter said. The costs relate to the private equity-owned steelmaker’s carbon pollution bill for last year, which is due for payment by March 15, the people said. British Steel and its owner, Greybull Capital LLP, said that the steelmaker is prepared for various Brexit scenarios.
Societe Generale to cut jobs
French banking group Societe Generale SA is planning to cut 1,500 positions in its BFI corporate and investment banking arm, Le Figaro newspaper reported on Saturday. The bank is looking at two scenarios, both of which envisage 1,500 job cuts worldwide, with about 700 of them in France, the report said, citing internal bank documents. The company said in a statement on Saturday that it is still reviewing activities in its corporate and investor client business, so it could not comment on the impact on jobs.
Banks eye ￡44bn in claims
Banks face a final bill of ￡44 billion to settle claims that they mis-sold payment protection insurance, the Mail said on Sunday, citing its own analysis. The study is based on published information extrapolated over the period until the Aug. 29 cutoff that the Financial Conduct Authority has set for claims, the report said. Lenders have already set aside about 40 billion pounds to compensate customers.
Newest HoloLens unveiled
Microsoft Corp unveiled the latest version of its HoloLens augmented reality headset on Sunday, promising wearers would feel more immersed in the augmented reality experience and more comfortable. The company showed off how the HoloLens 2 can track eye movements, and allow wearers to feel as though they can touch and manipulate holograms. The devices were also attached to hard hats for construction workers.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be
Yageo Corp (國巨), the world’s third-largest supplier of multilayer ceramic capacitors, has formed a strategic alliance with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) to develop key electronic components for electric vehicles and digital healthcare, it said yesterday. The alliance is to help Yageo boost its revenue from high-end components for vehicles and industrial, medical and aerospace devices, as well as those used in 5G and Internet-of-Things devices, the company said. The companies signed the strategic alliance agreement at Yageo’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店). Their cooperation is to start this quarter, the companies said in a joint statement. “Through the cooperation
SUPPLY CONSTRAINTS: The transferred orders might not provide an immediate revenue boost given local chipmakers’ high utilization rates, a senior analyst said Shares of local contract chipmakers yesterday rose as much as the 10 percent daily limit, as investors bet on orders being transferred from Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際) after the US imposed export restrictions on the Chinese chipmaker. United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) shares soared 10 percent to close at NT$27.5 as 380 million shares changed hands on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. UMC is the world’s No. 3 foundry by revenue, followed by SMIC, according to data from market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技). UMC has product and customer portfolios similar to those of SMIC, TrendForce said, adding that UMC offers 14-nanometer and