Forbes sells majority stake
The publisher Forbes Media on Friday agreed to sell a majority stake to a consortium of Asian investors, concluding a protracted sales process in which a number of prospective bidders dropped out. The terms were not disclosed, but the transaction values Forbes Media at US$475 million, said a person close to the deal. Forbes’ new controlling shareholders are set to be Integrated Whale Media Investments (本匯鯨媒體投資公司), a group that includes the Hong Kong investor Tak Cheung Yam (任德章) and Wayne Hsieh (謝維恩), the Singaporean cofounder of AsusTek Computer Inc (華碩). The group hopes to leverage the Forbes brand, which has retained a gloss in Asia that it has lost in the US, to do deals in real estate, business clubs and financial services.
GE reports industrial growth
General Electric Co (GE) reported second-quarter results on Friday that reflected a steady return to its industrial roots, as the giant conglomerate looks to accelerate the shift. GE, the largest industrial company in the US, said revenue from its industrial businesses, with products including jet engines, power generators, oil field machinery and medical imaging equipment, rose 7 percent. Revenue at its sizable finance unit, GE Capital, declined 6 percent. GE also announced on Friday that it intended to spin out its North American consumer-finance business, Synchrony Financial, in an initial public offering late this month. In its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it would sell 15 percent of the business to the public, 125 million shares, with US$24.50 a share as the midpoint of the expected price range.
Low inflation damaging: IMF
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde warned on Friday that low inflation could damage growth in Europe and urged the European Central Bank to maintain a flexible policy. She also urged caution over asset prices, saying they could be too high in relation to fundamentals. “Obstinately low inflation can seriously undermine growth,” said Lagarde, who recently hinted that the 3.6 percent global growth forecast for this year might have to be trimmed. The “good news,” Lagarde said, was that “European economies are beginning to emerge from the crisis.”
Swiss regain top spot
Switzerland has claimed the top spot on the Global Innovation Index for the fourth consecutive year, while Sub-Saharan Africa “posted significant regional improvement.” The annual rankings, which this year focused on the role people play in the innovation process, found that Switzerland and other top-ranked countries Britain, Sweden and Finland, had strong all-round support systems that led to “high levels of creativity.” Nations of the BRICS group of emerging economies such as China, Brazil and India were catching up with the developed countries, the researchers from Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization said in a statement. “China significantly outperforms the average score of high-income economies across the combined quality indicators,” they added in a report released on the sidelines of a G20 trade ministers’ meeting in Sydney.
RECORD BUDGET: TSMC does plan to raise its proposed capital expenditure a lot, and could benefit if Intel outsources more of its production to foundries, analysts said Intel Corp’s earnings conference call on Thursday is expected to clarify the US semiconductor giant’s outsourcing production plans, which would be crucial regarding Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) performance, analysts said. “TSMC stands to benefit if Intel outsources more of its fabrication to foundries,” SinoPac Securities Investment Service Corp (永豐投顧) analysts said in a note on Friday. Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) was more cautious, saying that Intel’s contribution initially would be limited, but its outsourcing plans would still highlight TSMC’s leadership in technology, it added. “Intel will continue to manufacture server or high-end central processing units [CPUs], which have higher
MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday announced it would give incentive bonuses totaling NT$1.7 billion (US$59.7 million) to its employees and those at the firm’s major subsidiaries, after the smartphone chip supplier’s revenue hit US$10 billion last year. This is the biggest incentive bonus the Hsinchu-based handset chip designer has ever distributed in its 23-year history. About 17,000 full-time employees of MediaTek and five of its subsidiaries, including Richtek Technology Corp (立錡科技) and Airoha Technology Corp (絡達科技), would receive a “red envelope” of NT$100,000 each, the company said. “Surpassing US$10 billion is just the beginning. We will continue to [grow] on this basis,” MediaTek
TO SPUR REVENUE: The contract chipmaker expects its profit to grow 15 percent this year, outpacing the foundry industry’s projected advance of about 10 percent Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday raised its projected capital spending for this year by 62 percent, a new high, in an attempt to satisfy customer demand for advanced technologies in the production of central processing units, high-performance-computing (HPC) devices and 5G applications. After investing US$17.24 billion last year, TSMC this year plans to spend US$25 billion to US$28 billion on manufacturing equipment and new facilities, including a fab in the US. About 80 percent of the budget would be allocated for developing advanced technologies including 3, 5 and 7-nanometer technologies, the company said. The larger-than-expected capital spending prompted speculation
Norway’s oil and gas reserves have made it one of the world’s wealthiest countries, but its dreams for deep-sea discovery now center on something different. This time, Oslo is looking for a leading role in mining copper, zinc and other metals found on the seabed and in hot demand in green technologies. The country could license companies for deep-sea mining as early as 2023, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said, potentially placing it among the first countries to harvest seabed metals for electric vehicle batteries, wind turbines and solar farms. However, that could also place it on the front line of