Jio adds Intel backing
Jio Platforms Ltd, the technology venture of billionaire Mukesh Ambani, secured 18.95 billion rupees (US$253.5 million) from Intel Capital, adding to a slew of investments since April that have reached more than US$15 billion. The investment arm of computer chip giant Intel Corp agreed to buy a 0.39 percent stake in Jio, giving the business an equity value of US$65 billion, Ambani’s conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd said in a statement yesterday.
Bank loans rise 3.26%
The nation reported a 3.26 percent increase in bank lending from the end of last year to the end of last month, the central bank said yesterday. The Southeast Asian nation’s economic growth traditionally relies heavily on increased credit, though authorities have been trying to reduce this reliance. “The central bank is willing to raise its caps on credit growth for local commercial banks during the rest of this year to support economic growth,” Governor Le Minh Hung said in a statement.
Retail sales plummet 52.1%
Retail sales plunged in May by the most since records began in 1986, signaling the economic hit from COVID-19 lockdown restrictions could be worse than earlier anticipated. Overall sales plummeted 52.1 percent from a year earlier, the Department of Statistics said in a report yesterday, worse than the 47 percent median in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Purchases fell 21.5 percent from the previous month, versus forecasts for an 8 percent decline.
EU banks plan one system
Sixteen European banks have teamed up to deliver by 2022 a new unified payment system that would offer consumers on the continent both cards and digital wallets that could offer a serious alternative to giants in the sector, such as Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc. Dubbed the European Payments Initiative, the “solution aims to become a new standard means of payment for European consumers and merchants in all types of transactions,” the consortium said in a statement. The project aims to eventually capture at least 60 percent of electronic payments in Europe.
HSBC focusing on China
HSBC Holdings PLC yesterday pledged to boost investments in China to capture more wealth and retail clients even as political tension escalates after Beijing launched a new security legislation to crack down on Hong Kong. The bank, which has come under fire over its support for the legislation, announced that it was starting a new service to provide customers in mainland China with digital wealth and insurance planning services. It would initially cover new customers in Guangzhou and Shanghai, it said in a statement. The bank is also establishing a fintech company to support its business.
Boeing official quits
Boeing Co communications chief Niel Golightly resigned on Thursday following a complaint over an article he wrote more than 30 years ago contending that women should not serve in combat. His resignation comes as a number of US companies examine their corporate culture following weeks of protests in the country over racism and police brutality, following the killing of black American George Floyd by a white police officer. Golightly leaves his post at Boeing after just months on the job.
From India to China to the US, automakers cannot make vehicles — not that no one wants any, but because a more than US$450 billion industry for semiconductors got blindsided. How did both sides end up here? Over the past two weeks, automakers across the world have bemoaned the shortage of chips. Germany’s Audi, owned by Volkswagen AG, would delay making some of its high-end vehicles because of what chief executive officer Markus Duesmann called a “massive” shortfall in an interview with the Financial Times. The firm has furloughed more than 10,000 workers and reined in production. That is a further blow
Answering to a reported request by Germany to help address a chip shortage in its auto industry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said that it was in talks with domestic chip suppliers. Foreign media over the weekend reported that German Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier had sent a request to Taipei to ask Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to cooperate more closely with German automakers to provide microchips and sensors, to bridge a shortage that has emerged over the past few months. The MOEA said that it had not yet received the request and could therefore not elaborate
FOCUS ON FOUNDRIES: An analyst said that some investors would be disappointed because they were expecting a larger announcement of a partnership with TSMC Intel Corp’s incoming chief executive officer Pat Gelsinger on Thursday pledged to regain the company’s lead in chip manufacturing, countering growing calls from some investors to shed that part of its business. “I am confident that the majority of our 2023 products will be manufactured internally,” Gelsinger said. “At the same time, given the breadth of our portfolio, it’s likely that we will expand our use of external foundries for certain technologies and products.” He plans to provide more details after officially taking over the CEO role on Feb. 15, but Gelsinger was clear that Intel is sticking with its once mighty
AWARENESS NEEDED: The central bank urged lenders to know their customers before undertaking business for them and to seek funding in conventional ways The central bank yesterday said that it would take action against four foreign lenders for their involvement in helping companies trade in the deliverable forward market in contravention of foreign-exchange regulations. Some grain merchants newly based in Taiwan have since July 2019 been practicing questionable currency-trading activity, with the help of branches and subsidiaries of six foreign banks, the monetary policymaker told an unscheduled news conference. Affiliated firms as of July last year completed currency-related deals they referred to as trading that totaled US$11 billion, which was not in sync with their real business needs, the central bank said after wrapping up