Toshiba ups investment
Toshiba Corp, the world's second-biggest maker of memory chips used in consumer electronics, plans to increase investment by 10 percent to 1.1 trillion yen (US$9.8 billion) in the next three years, with 65 percent of that going into semiconductors. Sales of the Tokyo-based company are expected to reach 6.6 trillion yen by March 2008, according to a statement released to the Tokyo Stock Exchange today. The company expects its annual net income to gain 20 percent to 55 billion yen, with sales of semiconductors and liquid-crystal displays to rise 7 percent to 1.4 trillion yen from a year earlier, according to the statement.
Concern over election: poll
More than a half of Japanese business leaders believe early elections next month and possible political disarray could affect the economy which is finally coming out of a long slump, a poll showed yesterday. Forty-one percent of 54 managers of major Japanese corporations polled said a political vacuum resulting from the elections could impact on the economy, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said. Another 15 percent said there would be an impact but it would be small or relatively minor over the medium and long term, the economic daily said. The paper conducted the poll on Monday after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi set a snap election on Sept. 11 after parliament rejected his signature reform of breaking up the Japan Post, which is effectively the world's biggest bank with US$3 trillion in assets. Thirteen percent of business leaders polled see no impact from the political event.
■ South Korea
FTC investigates Intel
South Korea's anti-trust watchdog said yesterday that it had launched an investigation into Intel Corp for unfair practices in its dealings with local computer manufacturers. "We're investigating whether Intel has abused its dominant market leadership in its marketing in the South Korean PC market," an official of the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said. A preliminary investigation has been underway since March, the FTC official said, adding that Intel has been given until the end of August to submit the documents and its views on the questions raised. "The investigations up until now have only involved talking with working level officials and perfunctorily checks of related documents and contracts," said the official, Hur Seon, head of the competition bureau at the commission. The world's biggest semiconductor company said on Monday that it was being investigated by the FTC for marketing and rebate deals made with South Korean PC manufacturers.
Jet-fuel players team up
China's two largest oil producers will team up with the country's top aviation oil dealer to establish a company to introduce more competition into its jet fuel market, state press said yesterday. China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC, 中國石油天然氣), and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (中國石油化學), parents of Hong Kong-listed PetroChina and Sinopec respectively, will set up a joint venture with China Aviation Oil Holding Company (CAOHC, 中國航油). The new firm will supply jet fuel to Chinese airports, the China Daily said, citing officials from CAOHC, which now holds a near-monopoly on China's jet fuel market.