Citigroup hiring in Ireland
US financial services group Citigroup will hire 250 people in Ireland next year in operations, funds, technology and product development, the company said yesterday. Citigroup already employs more than 2,200 workers in Dublin and Waterford, about 160km south of the capital, and has hired 300 people in the past 12 months. The jobs announcement was a rare piece of good news for Ireland, which has been rocked by a financial crisis that has seen unemployment soar, emigration return and its application for an 85 billion euros (US$113 billion) bailout from the IMF and EU last month.
Toshiba shipments to fall
Toshiba Corp’s shipments of NAND flash memory chips may fall as much as 20 percent next month and in February because of a power outage at a plant, the company said. The outage, which occurred at 5:21am on Wednesday, affected some equipment at Toshiba’s Yokkaichi plant in central Japan, said Hiroki Yamazaki, a spokesman at the Tokyo-based company. Almost all equipment should be back on line sometime today, he said. Toshiba forecasts its chip unit will make up about 17 percent of revenue totaling ￥7 trillion (US$83.5 billion) this fiscal year.
Volvo chief to step down
Volvo chief executive Leif Johansson will step down from the helm of the world’s No. 2 heavy goods vehicle manufacturer next year, the company said in Stockholm on Wednesday. During his 14 years, he refocused the company on heavy vehicles, selling its car business to Ford in 1999. It was subsequently bought by China’s Geely in August. Johansson will formally step down as president and chief executive officer in August next year.
South Korea ratings hold
Standard and Poor’s (S&P) yesterday affirmed its credit ratings for South Korea, but said it could lower them if military tensions with North Korea escalate or if the North’s succession is contested. S&P also expressed concern over the potentially hefty cost to Seoul of Korean reunification if the North’s regime collapses. The current ratings are supported by the nation’s dynamic economy, sound fiscal position, and a projected modest net external creditor position, the agency said.
Standard’s income flat
Standard Chartered bank says income has been flat in the second half of the year, but the company expects to deliver record full-year profits despite steeply rising costs. Standard Chartered yesterday said in London that it is spending more money to comply with regulatory requirements and faces increasing competition for hiring and retaining staff. The bank said it expects a double-digit percentage rise in costs for the year. It also said that provisions for bad loans have continued to improve.
Club Med cuts net loss
French leisure group Club Med yesterday said it had cut its net loss by a factor of four in its 2009-2010 financial year, adding that prospects for next year looked good, with a sustained rise in reservations. In the financial year that ended on Oct. 31, Club Med suffered a net loss of 14 million euros (US$18.6 million), against a loss of 53 million euros the previous year and a profit of 2 million euros the year before.
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
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,
‘SWARM TECH’: Joint venture FARobot is to develop autonomous mobile robots that would first be deployed in Hon Hai’s factories to optimize production efficiency Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Adlink Technology Inc (凌華科技) have formed a robotic venture that aims to use “swarm technology” to create robots that can communicate with one another on the factory floor to optimize production efficiency. Hon Hai is Apple Inc’s leading iPhone assembler and the world’s largest contract electronics maker, while Adlink supplies industrial computers and Internet of Things solutions. Through a subsidiary, Hyield Venture Capital Co (鴻揚創投), Hon Hai holds a 51 percent stake in autonomous mobile robot (AMR) developer FARobot (法博智能移動), while Adlink owns the remaining 49 percent. Together, the two companies put up NT$200