Interest rates unchanged
The central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged, and cut its outlook for economic growth, as it seeks to support an uneven recovery as foreign outflows pressure the country’s currency. Bank Indonesia yesterday kept the seven-day reverse repurchase rate at a record low of 3.5 percent. The central bank said that it now expects GDP to expand 4.1 percent to 5.1 percent this year, down from 4.3 percent to 5.3 percent previously. Governor Perry Warjiyo and his board have cut the key rate by 150 basis points since the beginning of last year amid Southeast Asia’s worst COVID-19 outbreak.
Stora Enso to shut two mills
Finnish forestry company Stora Enso yesterday said that it would permanently close two paper mills, citing decreasing demand for paper in Europe. The firm said that the closures would cut its annual paper sales by about 600 million euros (US$723.8 million), while operating profit would improve by about 35 million euros annually. Stora Enso said that the trend of falling demand had accelerated due to the pandemic, leading to over-capacity in the European paper market and historically low prices. The planned mill closures are expected to take place during the third quarter.
Deutsche invests in Celo
Deutsche Telekom has invested in Celo, a blockchain payments platform that allows mobile phone access to “decentralized finance” projects, which allow users to bypass traditional financial firms, the company said yesterday. It did not disclose the size of the investment. Deutsche Telekom has also bought an unspecific amount of the Celo digital token used on the platform, it said, following major firms, such as Tesla Inc, which hold cryptocurrency in their coffers. Decentralized finance projects range from cryptocurrency exchanges and loans to insurance, allowing users to bypass traditional financial companies as they borrow, lend or transact with one another.
Garuda ordered to pay fine
An Australian court ordered Garuda Indonesia to pay a fine of A$19 million (US$15 million) in relation to a price-fixing case after Indonesia’s flag carrier dropped an appeal against a penalty levied two years ago, a regulator said yesterday. The Federal Court asked Garuda to pay the sum after the airline withdrew its appeal against the May 2019 judgement, which found that it had fixed fees and surcharges for air freight services between 2003 and 2006, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said. The Federal Court ordered Garuda to pay the penalty in monthly installments from December this year to December 2026, it said.
Xbox unveils cloud service
Microsoft Corp’s gaming division Xbox yesterday introduced a beta version of its cloud gaming service on Web browsers of Windows 10 PCs, and Apple Inc’s iPhones and iPads. The feature enables users to play more than 100 Xbox Game Pass titles on Microsoft’s Edge, Google’s Chrome, or Apple’s Safari Internet browsers on their devices instead of using a video game console, easing access to gaming. The beta version is only available for select Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members, who would be sent an invite, Xbox cloud gaming head Catherine Gluckstein said in a blog post on Monday.
UNWANTED ATTENTION: In the past two months, the automaker has made headlines, with a Chinese military ban of its vehicles and a protest at an expo Electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, facing scrutiny in China over safety and customer service complaints, is boosting its engagement with regulators and beefing up its government relations team, industry sources said. Tesla’s change of strategy leading to more behind-the-scenes interaction with policymakers in Beijing compared with relatively little previously shows the seriousness with which the US automaker views the setbacks in its second-biggest market. TALKING SHOP It also comes at a time when China is trying to regulate large and powerful private companies, especially in the technology sector, on concerns about their market dominance. As they do elsewhere, regulators in China, the world’s biggest
Dell Technologies Inc has agreed to sell its Boomi cloud business to private equity firms Francisco Partners and TPG in a cash deal valued at US$4 billion, as part of efforts by chief executive officer Michael Dell to trim down the PC maker. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year, the companies said in a statement on Sunday without providing additional details of the terms. Dow Jones had earlier reported that the companies were near a deal. Boomi specializes in integrating different cloud platforms for companies and has more than 15,000 customers. Dell agreed to acquire the company for
Intel Corp wants 8 billion euros (US$9.7 billion) in public subsidies toward building a semiconductor factory in Europe, chief executive officer Pat Gelsinger was cited as saying on Friday, as the region seeks to reduce its reliance on imports amid a shortage of supplies. The pitch is the first time that Gelsinger has publicly put a figure on how much state aid he would want, as Intel campaigns to take on Asian rivals in contract manufacturing. “What we’re asking from both the US and the European governments is to make it competitive for us to do it here, compared to in Asia,”
GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓), the world’s No. 3 silicon wafer supplier, yesterday said that it is considering further capacity expansion as customers are requesting more capacity due to rising end-market demand and persistent supply constraints. The Hsinchu-based company said that emerging technologies and applications from 5G, artificial intelligence and electric vehicles are driving semiconductor demand. The semiconductor industry has a positive outlook for this year and beyond, with shipments of all diameters of wafers to increase through 2023, GlobalWafers said. “We have received requests for expansion from many strategic partners. We are now in discussions with customers,” company chairwoman Doris Hsu (徐秀蘭) told a