Lenovo prepares for listing
Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) is working with China International Capital Corp to prepare for its planned listing in Shanghai through the issuance of Chinese depositary receipts, which could raise about 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion). The company announced the plans on Tuesday and said that it would sell no more than 10 percent of its enlarged share capital in the issuance. Lenovo plans to submit a listing application after a shareholders’ meeting next month, a representative for the company said. If successful, Lenovo would be the biggest Chinese firm yet to conduct such a listing since Beijing began a trial program in 2018 to lure big technology firms based overseas to sell yuan-denominated securities in China.
Telefonica to sell masts
Spanish telecom Telefonica SA yesterday said that it has agreed to sell its mobile phone masts in Europe and Latin America to US-based telecom infrastructure operator American Towers Corp for 7.7 billion euros (US$9.41 billion) in cash. Under the terms of the deal, Telefonica’s infrastructure unit Telxius Telecom SA would hand over the company’s mobile phone masts in Spain, Germany, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Argentina. Telefonica also said it plans to use the proceeds of the sale to reduce its net financial debt by 4.6 billion euros. The Spanish company has said for the past two years that it planned to reduce its exposure to Latin America, where profit margins have dwindled, to reduce its debt.
Lidl’s British sales rise
The British arm of German discount supermarket Lidl Stiftung & Co said that sales had increased by 17.9 percent in the four weeks to Dec. 27, driven by people buying more goods in store and switching away from rivals. Lidl said that its performance meant it was the fastest-growing retailer versus the “big four” supermarket chains, Tesco PLC, Sainsbury’s PLC, Asda Stores Ltd and Morrisons Supermarkets PLC, and other competitors. Lidl said its average basket size increased by 24.8 percent year-on-year, boosted by demand for festive products, such as mince pies.
Aramco loan expected
Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco) is lining up a loan of about US$7.5 billion for potential investors in its oil pipelines, people familiar with the matter said. The world’s biggest oil producer has begun talks with lenders to secure favorable terms for the funding package that would then be offered to investors, the people said, asking not to be identified, as the information is private. The discussions are occurring in parallel with the sale of a stake in a pipeline unit, which could raise about US$10 billion for Aramco, the people said.
Biden tipped to tap Gensler
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate Gary Gensler, a derivatives regulator during the administration of former president Barack Obama with a reputation for toughness, as the country’s top stock market watchdog, media reported on Tuesday. Biden would tap Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, a position where he could roll back the efforts of President Donald Trump’s administration to ease regulations imposed in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, reports said. Gensler led the Commodities Future Trading Commission from 2009 to 2014, spearheading an effort to reform the massive swaps market.
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