Auto tax increase postponed
The government postponed until next year increases in taxes on the sale of cars and trucks in a bid to stimulate demand for manufactured goods and spur economic growth, the Finance Ministry said on Saturday. Finance Minister Guido Mantega said the government wanted to “avoid the risk of a drop in sales throughout the year.” “The car industry is very important for Brazil’s economy, it accounts for 25 percent of industrial production,” Mantega said on Globo TV. “So, to keep industrial output growing, it is important that the auto industry keeps growing.”
Offshore gas delivered
The government announced on Saturday it had begun delivering gas from a major northern offshore drill toward its shores, a move officials say will diminish the state’s dependency on foreign gas imports. Tamar, which has reserves of up to 238 billion cubic meters, lies 130km off the Mediterranean port city of Haifa. Tamar, which was discovered in 2009, is jointly owned by US company Nobel Energy and three Israeli firms — Delek, Isramco and Dor Alon.
Firm welcomes use of yuan
Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, Australia’s third-biggest iron ore producer, said it welcomes policies that promote the use of China’s yuan in global trade, following a report Australia was set to sign a conversion deal.
“Fortescue welcomes the ongoing internationalization of the yuan, which is becoming an increasingly important currency in global trade,” the Perth-based company said yesterday in response to a Bloomberg request for comment.
Court to rule on patent case
The Indian Supreme Court is to rule today on a landmark patent case involving Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG that focuses on demands by major companies that their investments be protected, against Indian companies that say they should be allowed to continue producing cheaper generic versions of many lifesaving medicines. A decision in the seven-year legal battle is keenly awaited by the two most interested parties — big pharma companies and health aid groups — with both sides saying the outcome will set a precedent with far-reaching consequences for the future availability of the drugs.
Ford dismisses accusations
US automaker Ford, which faces a lawsuit over claims its vehicles accelerate without warning, dismissed the accusations on Saturday as unscientific. Ford said it had addressed the issue with US regulators, whose work is “far more scientific and trustworthy than work done by personal injury lawyers and their paid experts,” an e-mail from a company spokesman said. On Friday, vehicle owners in 14 states filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of “potentially millions of purchasers and lessees of Ford vehicles manufactured between 2002 and 2010.”
Investment scam queried
People are questioning how a North Carolina man operated a US$600 million fraudulent investment scheme that attracted 1 million investors, even though regulators had received dozens of complaints about the company. Authorities say Paul Burks is the mastermind of one of the biggest investment scams in US history. His online company ZeekRewards was based in Lexington, North Carolina. Burks has agreed to pay a US$4 million penalty.
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
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
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