BT Group shares rise
BT Group PLC shares advanced as much as 9.5 percent following a report that India’s Reliance Industries Ltd is weighing up a possible offer for the UK’s biggest telephone company. Reliance could make an unsolicited offer to buy into the company or even stake a claim for a controlling stake, with some strategic shareholders open to cashing out at the right price, the Economic Times reported. A BT spokesman declined to comment. Separately, the Mail on Sunday reported that private equity firms and investment funds are assessing BT’s infrastructure division Openreach at valuations as high as ￡40 billion (US$53 billion).
Gazprom profit hits record
Russia’s Gazprom yesterday reported its highest-ever quarterly net profit at 581.8 billion rubles (US$7.8 billion) for the third quarter, reflecting high natural gas prices. The Kremlin-controlled company, which a year earlier suffered a loss of 251 billion rubles, benefited from record-high natural gas prices in Europe, its key source of revenue. Gazprom said its average gas price in Europe and other regions jumped to US$313.40 per 1,000 cubic meters in the third quarter from US$117.2 a year earlier. The company said its July to September revenue rose to 2.4 trillion rubles, also a quarterly record high, from 1.4 trillion a year earlier.
PPC sets net-zero target
PPC Ltd, the biggest South African cement maker, has set a target of attaining net zero emissions by 2050. The company aims to cut emissions by 10 percent by 2025 and 27 percent by 2030, it said in its inaugural climate change report yesterday. PPC produces 11.6 million tonnes of cement a year. PPC and other South African industrial companies are under increasing pressure to reduce emissions in a country that is the world’s 12th-biggest producer of greenhouse gases. Across Africa, cement accounts for 32 percent of emissions of the climate-warming gases from manufacturing, according to Mckinsey & Co.
Gini coefficient high: official
The country needs to cut its Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, to under 0.4 to achieve common prosperity, an adviser to the central bank said. The Gini coefficient should be lowered from 0.47 to close to 0.4 by 2025 and then toward 0.35 by 2035, said Cai Fang (蔡昉), a member of the People’s Bank of China’s monetary policy committee. Cai’s comments are notable, as government officials have not set national numerical targets for the Chinese Communist Party’s common prosperity drive, which was given high-profile backing by President Xi Jinping (習近平) in August.
ECB thinks inflation peaked
The European Central Bank (ECB) believes that inflation peaked this month, meaning it would be premature to raise interest rates as price increases look likely to slow gradually next year, ECB board member Isabel Schnabel said. Inflation would trend back toward 2 percent next year, she told ZDF television yesterday, as supply bottlenecks and energy price growth level off. “Most forecasts actually assume inflation will fall below 2 percent, so there really are no signs of price rises getting out of control,” she said. “If we thought inflation would permanently settle above 2 percent, we would definitely react. However, at the moment, we see no indications of this,” she added.
CLIENTS’ RIGHTS: Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Lin Chih-chi said the buyer and Citibank Taiwan would need to disclose changes to branch operations DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣), the local unit of Singapore-based DBS Group Holdings Ltd, has reportedly won a bid to acquire Citibank Taiwan Ltd’s (花旗台灣) consumer banking business, but the two companies declined to confirm the report yesterday. Citibank Taiwan’s consumer banking business is to be sold for about NT$60 billion (US$2.17 billion) to DBS Taiwan, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported on Sunday. DBS Taiwan and its parent company are expediting the negotiations with the seller’s US-based parent company, while other local bidders, including Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) and Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), have dropped their bids, the report said. Citibank
Intel Corp yesterday said it has placed its first order with ASML Holding NV to purchase the semiconductor industry’s first TWINSCAN EXE: 5200 system, as the US chip giant aims to compete with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in advancing to 2-nanometer process technology. The Dutch semiconductor equipment maker’s TWINSCAN EXE:5200 system is an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) high-volume production system with a high numerical aperture (NA) that can produce 220 wafers per hour, more than the 150 wafers that its previous generation TWINSCAN EXE:5000 system can handle. ASML aims to launch the new system in 2024. ASML president and chief
MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the world’s biggest 5G chip supplier, saw its ranking rise by one notch to No. 7 last year among world semiconductor vendors, as it benefited from the rapid 5G smartphone uptake in China after Huawei Technologies Co (華為) was forced to exit the market, Gartner Inc said in a report yesterday. MediaTek’s revenue soared 58.8 percent to US$17.45 billion last year from US$10.99 billion in 2020, outpacing the global semiconductor industry’s growth of 25 percent, according to Gartner’s tally. That gave MediaTek a 3 percent market share. The Hsinchu-based chip company ranked No. 8 in 2020, behind Texas Instruments
Siltronic AG cast doubt on a planned US$5.3 billion takeover by GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓), saying the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action’s feedback so far was opaque and offered no clear resolution on how to win approval for the deal. During recent discussions, the companies did not receive any information as to whether and under which conditions a clearance for the takeover might be issued, the German company said in a regulatory filing on Friday following a news report on remedies the companies have offered. In the ministry’s view “in this case, a mitigation agreement is apparently not suitable