AXA planning IPO
AXA SA, Europe’s second-largest insurer, is planning an initial public offering (IPO) of its US operations to fund expansion and potentially return money to shareholders. AXA intends to list a minority stake in its US businesses and expects to include its US Life and Savings unit and stake in money manager AllianceBernstein Holding LP in the IPO, the company said in a statement yesterday. The listing would take place in the first half of next year, subject to market conditions, helping speed up AXA’s achievement of its 2020 profit goals. Axa plans to reinvest the proceeds into its priority businesses, which include health, protection and commercial property and casualty lines.
Apple to monitor sleep
Apple Inc already tracks its users footsteps and fitness levels and now it wants to analyze people’s sleep. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has acquired Beddit, a maker of sleep-tracking hardware and software, according to a message on the Finland-based company’s Web site. Beddit sells a US$150 sensor strip that can be placed under bed sheets and transfers sleep-related information to an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch for analysis. The accompanying Beddit app can tell users how long they slept and break down the night into categories such as “restless sleep,” “snoring” and “awake.” Like the Apple Watch, it also provides heart rate data to an iPhone. The deal would allow Apple greater access to the health tracking business. The company has been working on sleep tracking functionality for the Apple Watch for a number of years. Beddit’s technology is expected to help with that.
Merger faces probe
Just Eat PLC’s ￡200 million (US$259 million) acquisition of Hungryhouse faces an in-depth probe by UK regulators over concerns it could lead to poorer service for British restaurants using either delivery service. The planned merger is to be referred to a Phase 2 investigation, the British Competition and Markets Authority said in a statement yesterday. Its concerns are based on the fact that the two are close competitors because of similar services and broad geographical coverage and a merger could lead to “worse terms” for its restaurant clients, the regulator said. Just Eat in December last year agreed to buy Hungryhouse from Delivery Hero Holding GmbH to fend off growing competition from competitors like Deliveroo, UberEATS and Amazon Restaurants, which were also cited in the authority’s statement.
Credit Suisse hiring in US
Credit Suisse Group AG is adding 1,200 jobs to its offices in Raleigh, North Carolina. Credit Suisse is to increase its finance, technology and operations workforce this year through a combination of moving roles from New York and making new hires, the bank said. The firm already employs about 1,500 people in the area and is to receive US$40.2 million in tax reimbursements over 12 years if it meets hiring and investment targets, the state’s governor said in a statement. While Credit Suisse is retrenching globally as part of a turnaround plan, its cost-cutting efforts have been a boost to the operations in North Carolina’s Research Triangle area. Global banks including Deutsche Bank AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc have been moving a greater portion of employees to lower-cost locations as part of plans to trim expenses amid low interest rates, weak trading revenue and legal bills tied to past misconduct.
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) yesterday said that its insurance unit would adjust its investment portfolio after being banned from buying new stocks a day earlier by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC). “We will research what we can do based on the commission’s specific instructions after we receive the regulator’s formal documents,” Shin Kong Financial spokesman Sunny Hsu (徐順鋆) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The commission on Tuesday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$941,722) for reckless investment, and demanded that the insurer reduce its overseas investment ratio from 43 percent to 39 percent. The fine would affect
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to
EQUITIES TAIEX moves sharply higher The TAIEX moved sharply higher yesterday as buying focused on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) after a strong showing by its American Depositary Receipts overnight. However, the gains were capped after the benchmark index breached 13,000 points and ran into technical hurdles, prompting investors to turn cautious, dealers said. At the end of the session, the TAIEX was up 131.11 points, or 1.02 percent, at 12,976.76. Turnover was NT$206.328 billion (US$7.04 billion), with foreign institutional investors buying a net NT$18.47 billion in shares, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed. TSMC rose 2.92 percent to close at NT$458.