Regulator probes gas firm
The Securities Commission is investigating oil and gas firm Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd after the company’s auditors flagged issues last week, the regulator said yesterday. On Friday, Serba Dinamik said that KPMG raised issues over more than 3.5 billion ringgit (US$847.66 million) of contracts and transactions that the auditor had not been able to verify with 11 customers. The company said it saw no issue concerning the legitimacy and existence of the contracts and it did not expect any material impact in the financial year ending on June 30.
Apple to expand stores
Apple Inc is to expand its global retail presence even as stores struggle with an accelerating shift to sales online during the COVID-19 pandemic, Germany’s Funke Mediengruppe reported. The Cupertino, California-based company operates about 500 Apple stores globally, including 100 in Europe. Retail locations offer an opportunity for people to experience new technology, ask questions and attend workshops on Apple’s products, Funke said, citing Deirdre O’Brien, the iPhone maker’s senior vice president of retail and people.
Generali offers to buy rival
Assicurazioni Generali SpA offered to buy Italian rival Societa Cattolica di Assicurazioni SC in a deal valuing the smaller firm at 1.5 billion euros (US$1.83 billion). Generali, which already has a stake of almost 20 percent in the company, is offering investors 6.75 euros per Cattolica share in an all cash deal, the insurer said in a statement yesterday. The offer represents a 15 percent premium on the most recent closing price, it said. “The acquisition would allow Generali to become the first in the non-life insurance market and to strengthen its presence in the life market,” the insurer said in the statement.
Start-up to buy REA entities
Singapore real-estate start-up PropertyGuru Pte has agreed to acquire all of the shares in REA Group Ltd’s operating entities in Malaysia and Thailand, whose sites include iProperty.com.my and thinkofliving.com. As part of the agreement, Australia’s REA Group, which is majority-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp empire, would receive an 18 percent equity interest in PropertyGuru and appoint a director to its board, the Southeast Asian company said in a statement yesterday. No price has been disclosed for the deal.
Charoen shuts factory
Charoen Pokphand Foods Pcl, Thailand’s biggest meat producer, closed its factory in Saraburi province for five days to stem a COVID-19 outbreak, the provincial government said. The poultry processing plant, about 100km north of Bangkok, would be closed from Sunday to Thursday, the provincial administration said on its Facebook page late on Saturday. The closure came after the authorities found 245 employees had been infected with the virus.
Toyota aids in vaccinations
Toyota Motor Corp’s famed just-in-time production system is being used to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations at its hometown, public broadcaster NHK reported. In Toyota city, the firm brought its manufacturing knowhow to vaccinations that began on Sunday, NHK said. One location on a Toyota factory site used signs, routes and color-coding to maximize the throughput of patients, it said.
UNSTABLE? Downplaying geopolitical concerns, Mark Liu said that Taiwan can help usher in a bright, new era for the chip industry with its tech and manufacturing skills There are probably not many people who believe that Taiwan is unstable because of geopolitical factors, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) said yesterday in Taipei in response to comments by Intel’s top executive. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger on Wednesday told the Fortune Brainstorm Tech summit in California that the US government should support a sustainable semiconductor supply chain in the US, in part because “Taiwan is not a stable place.” With China sending 27 military warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone on Sunday, Gelsinger asked: Does that “make you more comfortable or less if you’re now
‘OUT IN FRONT’: The new investment is part of MediaTek’s bid to expand revenue by 15 percent over the next three years from an estimated US$17 billion this year MediaTek Inc (聯發科) is to continue investing in the development of low-power technologies to maintain its leading position in the industry over the next 10 years, the Hsinchu-based chip designer said yesterday. This year, it would allocate US$3.3 billion to the research and development of technologies related to high-performance computing, low power and advanced chip packaging, MediaTek said. The investment is part of the chip designer’s efforts to enhance its technological capabilities and boost revenue. MediaTek aims to expand revenue by about 15 percent over the next three years from an estimated US$17 billion this year. “We are definitely out in front of
Toyota Motor Corp is to launch an all-electric small sedan in China late next year, having turned to local partner BYD Co (比亞迪) for key technology to finally make an affordable yet roomy runaround, four sources said. Two of the four people with knowledge of the matter described the car as an electric holy grail for Toyota, which has struggled for years to come up with a small electric vehicle (EV) that is competitive on cost in China and does not compromise on comfort. The sources said the breakthrough was chiefly down to BYD’s less bulky lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) Blade batteries and its
Danish wind turbine maker Vestas A/S yesterday said it has invested NT$9 billion (US$324.64 million) in its local supply chain to supply components for its 9.5 megawatt (MW) V174 turbine. The project has helped created 1,500 jobs, including 150 jobs by Vestas itself, Vestas country manager Alex Robertson said. The turbine is to be used in four offshore wind farm projects for a total of 123 wind turbine generators, or 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of total capacity, he said. “This is localization like I’ve never seen before,” Robertson told a media briefing in Taipei. Vestas highlighted 10 Taiwanese supply chain partners that are