Alitalia bid likely to drag
Deutsche Lufthansa AG and British budget airline easyJet are two of seven companies that on Monday bid for Alitalia, but the process to rescue Italy’s ailing flag carrier is likely to drag out until late next year. Alitalia, which has made a profit only a few times in its 70-year history, was put under special administration earlier this year after staff rejected a plan to cut jobs and salaries. Seven envelopes were delivered by a deadline to submit binding offers for parts or all of the airline on Monday, Alitalia said in a statement, but gave no further details. It was unclear whether any of the offers were for the whole airline. Both Lufthansa and easyJet said they were only interested in parts of it.
Daimler recalls 1m cars
Daimler AG is recalling more than 1 million vehicles, including Mercedes-Benz, due to a problem with the airbags, a company spokesman was quoted as saying on Monday. Among the vehicles being recalled are about 400,000 Mercedes cars in Britain and hundreds more in Germany, the spokesman told the DPA news agency. A Mercedes spokesman in the US said 495,000 cars would be subject to the recall there. The source of the problem is a faulty cable which can trigger the airbags to inflate inadvertently. The product recall will begin in the coming weeks when the new component to fix the problem is available.
Ruby Tuesday to be acquired
Ruby Tuesday Inc is being acquired for about US$146 million in a deal that will take the struggling chain private. Like other sit-down restaurant chains, Ruby Tuesday has lost customers to cheaper, faster and more casual places. Comparable-store sales at Ruby Tuesday have fallen for six consecutive quarters and the company has not reported a quarterly profit in two years, even as it has made tweaks its menu and made small changes, like adding salad bars, in an attempt to boost traffic. The private-equity firm NRD Capital on Monday said that it would pay US$2.40 for each share, a 21 percent premium from the chain’s closing price of US$1.99 on Friday. When debt is included, the companies value the deal at US$335 million.
Spain cuts growth forecast
The Spanish government on Monday announced it was cutting its forecast from 2.6 percent to 2.3 percent economic growth next year, saying the political crisis in Catalonia was creating uncertainty. It said in a budget plan sent to Brussels that it was down to the economic cycle as well as “a slight containment of domestic demand, resulting from the negative impact of the uncertainty associated with the current political situation in Catalonia.” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had already warned about the economic impact of the political standoff in a letter on Monday to Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.
Pearson predicts profit
Pearson Education expects full-year operating profit in the top half of its forecast range, in the first positive trading news for the British education group in recent years. The company, which has issued a string of profit warnings and cut thousands of jobs due to the shift to digital from paper textbooks, yesterday said it was seeing the benefit of cost cuts and the move to develop its rental and digital offerings. “We expect tough market conditions in our biggest business to continue over the next couple of years,” chief executive John Fallon said.
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.