Foreign investors gather
Nearly 140 chief executives from companies around the world are to gather at the Versailles Palace outside Paris tomorrow, as the French government steps up efforts to attract more foreign investors. French President Emmanuel Macron orchestrated what is being billed as an “attractiveness summit” as executives converge for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next week. A handful of economic accords are to be announced, including a major investment in “traditional industry” and two in “high-tech and artificial intelligence,” an official in the president’s office said.
Fitch upgrades debt rating
Fitch Ratings on Friday upgraded Spain’s sovereign debt rating, pointing to the country’s growing economy and improving fiscal health. The economic impact of the Catalonia region’s effort to declare independence last month have been “limited” so far, but the political standoff will weigh on growth, the agency said. Fitch raised Spain’s long-term debt rating one notch to “A-” with a stable outlook. Fitch said that Spain was enjoying the fruits of an economic recovery, with the economy likely having expanded by an average of 3.3 percent between 2015 and last year. The central government deficit is likely to hit its 3.1 percent target this year.
CEO takes home huge bonus
Morgan Stanley boosted chief executive officer James Gorman’s compensation for last year by 20 percent to US$27 million, the most pay he has received since taking the helm eight years ago. Gorman, 59, got a US$12.8 million long-term incentive, US$6 million of deferred cash, US$5.6 million cash bonus, US$1.5 million salary and restricted shares worth almost US$1.2 million, bank spokesman Wesley McDade said. Last year, Morgan Stanley had record revenue from wealth management and stabilized its fixed-income division after restructuring. This week, its market value eclipsed that of rival Goldman Sachs Group Inc for the first time in a decade.
Start-up hunts funding
Byton (拜騰), a Chinese electric car start-up founded by former BMW AG executives, is seeking about US$400 million in a new round of funding, people with knowledge of the matter said. The Nanjing-based company, which showcased a concept car at the CES in Las Vegas this month, has been reaching out to potential investors to gauge their interest, according to the sources. Byton received US$200 million from a Suning Holdings Group Co (蘇寧集團) fund and some state-owned firms in Jiangsu Province, chief operating officer Daniel Kirchert said in August last year.
Missouri offer revealed
The US state of Missouri offered Amazon.com Inc nearly US$2.5 billion in incentives spread over 10 years in its failed bid to lure the company’s second headquarters to the state, according to figures released on Friday by the state Department of Economic Development. The state proposed building an “innovation corridor” between Kansas City and St Louis to provide employees and sites for Amazon. Amazon has said its second headquarters would bring up to 50,000 jobs and an investment of more than US$5 billion.
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
MOBILE SMART: The Dimensity 1200 is 22 percent better in terms of performance than its predecessor, and 25 percent more power-efficient, the handset chip designer said MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday unveiled its premium 5G processors — the Dimensity 1200 and Dimensity 1100 — as it vies for a larger slice of the world’s rapidly growing 5G smartphone market. Manufactured using Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (台積電) 6-nanometer process technology, the Dimensity 1200 processor performs 22 percent better than the previous generation Dimensity 1000+ processor, and is 25 percent more power-efficient, MediaTek said. Chinese smartphone brands Xiaomi Corp (小米) and Realme Mobile Telecommunications (Shenzhen) Co (銳爾覓移動通信) are to be the first adopters of the latest Dimensity chips, the companies said during a virtual media briefing. Xiaomi plans to equip its first
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
‘BROAD RANGE’: The US Department of Commerce intends to deny a significant number of license requests for exports to Huawei, an industry association said US President Donald Trump’s administration notified Huawei Technologies Co (華為) suppliers, including chipmaker Intel Corp, that it is revoking certain licenses to sell to the Chinese company and intends to reject dozens of other applications to supply the telecommunications firm, people familiar with the matter told reporters. The action — likely the last against Huawei under Trump — is the latest in a long-running effort to weaken the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, which Washington sees as a national security threat. The notices came amid a flurry of US efforts against China in the final days of Trump’s administration. US president-elect Joe