SGX tightens auditor rules
Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX) is tightening its regulation of auditors and property assessors who work with listed companies, in the wake of a series of accounting scandals in the city-state in recent years. All companies whose main listing is in the city-state would be required to appoint an auditor registered with its Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority for their financial year beginning on or after Jan. 1 next year, the exchange said in a statement yesterday. The exchange said that it could also ask listed firms to appoint a second auditor if it finds evidence of “pervasive” misstatements in their records.
Resale of bad loans to pilot
The government plans to allow some commercial banks to start selling soured personal loans to distressed asset managers as soon as this month, people familiar with the matter said. At a meeting convened by the official credit assets transfer center last month, banks and state-run bad-loan managers were asked to accelerate preparations to ensure a smooth start of the trial program this month, said the people, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd (中國工商銀行) could be the first seller, other people said. Details of the trial are not yet finalized and are still subject to approval by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the people said.
Coffee bars ‘need two years’
Coffee chains are to take two years to fully recover from an US$11.5 billion sales plunge that wiped out a quarter of their market in a year when COVID-19 kept customers from cafes, market researcher Allegra Group said. The branded coffee chain segment, which is dominated by Starbucks Corp and Inspire Brands Inc’s Dunkin’ Donuts, saw sales plunge 24 percent to US$36 billion in the past 12 months, predominantly due to COVID-19 disruptions, the London-based group said in a report on Monday. The industry would return to pre-pandemic sales by 2023, Allegra said, adding that 65 percent of surveyed industry leaders said that trading conditions would improve during the next 12 months.
Walmart enters fintech
In a bid to better leverage its millions of customers, Walmart Inc has created a financial technology start-up to win more of their spending. The company formed a partnership with Ribbit Capital, an investor in stock-trading platform Robinhood, to start a venture that “will bring together Walmart’s retail knowledge and scale with Ribbit’s fintech expertise to deliver tech-driven financial experiences tailored to Walmart’s customers and associates,” Walmart said in a statement. Fintech companies aim to give consumers ways to save, borrow and invest online or via cellphones without dealing with a traditional bank.
M&S buys fashion brand
British retailer Marks & Spencer Group PLC (M&S) on Monday said that it has purchased the Jaeger fashion brand from the administrators of Jaeger Retail Ltd. M&S said that it is in the final stages of agreeing to the purchase of product and supporting marketing assets from the administrators and expected to fully complete the deal later this month. No purchase figures were disclosed. Before going into administration, Jaeger was part of Philip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group.
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
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
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