HKL converts upscale office
The biggest landlord in Hong Kong’s Central business district is opening its first flexible office space in one of its premium buildings to capture the demand for agile workplace leasing. Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd (HKL, 香港置地) converted two floors in Edinburgh Tower into a 320-desk flexible workspace, which opened its doors yesterday. Leasing term in the office ranges from as short as three months to three years. HKL said the space mainly targets financial companies and professional services. An unnamed international financial institution has rented a suite, it said.
May exports surge 49.6%
Exports last month surged 49.6 percent from last year’s dismal level, as record jumps in shipments to the US and Europe helped boost an economy still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic at home, data released yesterday by the Ministry of Finance showed. The figures were largely in line with the median forecast from analysts. Shipments of vehicles and auto parts more than doubled, despite a shortage of semiconductors that has crimped vehicle production in the US and other markets. Shipments to the US gained 87.9 percent, those to the EU climbed 69.6 percent and exports to China climbed 23.6 percent.
UK in EV battery talks
The British government is in talks with six companies to build gigafactories to produce electric vehicle (EV) batteries, the Financial Times reported yesterday, citing people briefed on the discussions. Ford Motor Co, Nissan Motor Co, LG Corp, Samsung Electronics Co, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report said. The government’s plan to prohibit the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars by 2030 and hybrids by 2035 would require the nation’s vehicle plants to shift to producing electric models.
Vacation home sales surge
US real estate became a hot commodity during the COVID-19 pandemic, but an industry survey released on Tuesday said vacation homes were even hotter, underscoring how those who could afford it sought comfort far from cities, despite the economy’s collapse. The share of vacation homes sold out of all existing home sales is usually about 5 percent annually, but last year, it rose to 5.5 percent, and was at 6.7 percent for the first four months of this year, the National Association of Realtors said, with the ratio hitting 8 percent in April alone.
Zuckerberg’s rating slips
Mark Zuckerberg’s approval among some Facebook Inc employees has slipped, dislodging him from Glassdoor’s ranking of the Top 100 CEOs, a list he has been on annually since 2013. Worker sentiment on Zuckerberg, as measured by Glassdoor surveys taken by more than 700 Facebook employees from May last year to last month, declined particularly in the last months of last year and early this year, when Facebook was managing the aftermath of the US presidential election and misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic. While Zuckerberg still managed a rating of 88 percent, higher than the average 73 percent approval rating for CEOs generally, that was not enough for the top 100 list, where Microsoft Corp’s Satya Nadella scored 97 percent and Apple Inc’s Tim Cook scored 95 percent.
This week’s undoing of the TerraUSD algorithmic stablecoin and its sister token, Luna, has ramifications for all of crypto. First, there is the immediate impact: The rapid collapse of a once-popular pair of cryptocurrencies sent a ripple effect across the industry, contributing to plummeting coin prices that wiped hundreds of billions of market value from the digital-asset market and stoked worries over the potential fragility of digital-asset ventures. Then there are the knock-on effects. In addition to delivering punishing losses to individual users and investment firms, the spectacular failure of a market darling like Terra threatens to have a cooling effect
China’s biggest chipmaker has cut its outlook for the second quarter, joining a growing list of manufacturers warning about the fallout from lockdowns aimed at containing the country’s worst COVID-19 outbreak in two years. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Co (SMIC, 中芯) estimates a month-long lockdown in Shanghai could spur component shortages and logistics tangles, and erase about 5 percent of its output in the second quarter. “We are trying our best to mitigate the impact on product delivery,” SMIC Chairman Gao Yonggang (高永崗) told analysts on a call yesterday morning. “We are still assessing the actual impact as many suppliers restart their
DISRUPTIONS: The war in Ukraine, China’s lockdown measures, rising interest rates and inflation have thrown a wrench into business plans made years in advance Samsung Electronics Co is talking with foundry clients about charging as much as 20 percent more for making semiconductors this year, joining an industry-wide push to hike prices to cover rising costs of materials and logistics. Contract-based chip prices are likely to rise around 15 percent to 20 percent, depending upon the level of sophistication, people familiar with the matter said. Chips produced on legacy nodes would face bigger price hikes, while new pricing would be applied from the second half of this year, they said, adding that Samsung has finished negotiating with some clients and is in discussions with others. Samsung’s decision
material SHORTAGE: Even as workers are about to return, Quanta lacks operating supplies, while Pegatron reported its lowest revenues in 11 quarters, the companies said Taiwan’s major Apple Inc supplier cut its outlook for the second quarter, joining a growing list of manufacturers warning about the fallout from lockdowns aimed at containing China’s worst COVID-19 outbreak in two years. Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), which assembles MacBooks, expects a 20 percent quarterly fall in notebook shipments and a squeeze on margins this quarter due to the lockdown, a company representative said on Friday during an earnings call. The impact from supply chain disruptions could last until the end of the year, she said. The company’s Shanghai factory has been operating under tight restrictions since the middle of last month,