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.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,
‘SWARM TECH’: Joint venture FARobot is to develop autonomous mobile robots that would first be deployed in Hon Hai’s factories to optimize production efficiency Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Adlink Technology Inc (凌華科技) have formed a robotic venture that aims to use “swarm technology” to create robots that can communicate with one another on the factory floor to optimize production efficiency. Hon Hai is Apple Inc’s leading iPhone assembler and the world’s largest contract electronics maker, while Adlink supplies industrial computers and Internet of Things solutions. Through a subsidiary, Hyield Venture Capital Co (鴻揚創投), Hon Hai holds a 51 percent stake in autonomous mobile robot (AMR) developer FARobot (法博智能移動), while Adlink owns the remaining 49 percent. Together, the two companies put up NT$200