Credit Suisse on watch list
The UK’s financial regulator has added Credit Suisse Group AG to a watch list over concerns that it has not sufficiently addressed risky culture, as the lender struggles to draw a line under a series of scandals and turbulence. The Financial Conduct Authority told Credit Suisse last month that it was adding the bank’s UK operations and international unit to a list of firms warranting close monitoring after a series of scandals, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The regulator cited concern over its risk controls, governance and culture. Officials have asked the firm’s top management to offer evidence of the steps it would take to make improvements going forward, they said.
Fuel firms face crackdown
Berlin plans to give competition authorities enhanced powers to crack down on fuel companies after emergency tax cuts failed to trigger the intended price reductions for consumers. Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck accused oil producers of failing to pass on the benefits of lower levies to consumers and reaping a profit from the surge in energy prices. “My proposal is that we change our antitrust law and create one with teeth and claws” that promotes genuine competition, Habeck said yesterday in an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio. Antitrust law needs to be reformed to make it easier to gather evidence of collusion between market participants, he said.
Trade gap data surprises
The nation’s current-account gap widened less than expected as a surge in tourism income mitigated the impact from a global rally in energy prices. The gap widened to US$2.74 billion in April, growing US$1.22 billion from a year earlier, the central bank said on its Web site yesterday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 11 analysts was for a US$3.2 billion shortfall. Last week, Turkey introduced steps related to tightening consumer demand to protect the lira and tame inflation. The central bank has kept its key policy rate at 14 percent for five months.
Frasers unit might go private
Frasers Property Ltd is proposing to take its listed hospitality arm private at a value of S$1.35 billion (US$971.3 million) after the COVID-19 pandemic hammered the hotel and tourism business. The company — backed by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi — is offering S$0.70 per share for Frasers Hospitality Trust, a Singapore-based real-estate investment trust, a joint statement said yesterday. Frasers Hospitality Trust — whose biggest shareholder is Charoen’s conglomerate TCC Group — has grown its portfolio valuation by 35 percent since its initial public offering in 2014.
CATL launches share sale
Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL, 新能源科技), the world’s biggest maker of batteries for electric vehicles, has launched an A-share private placement that could raise about 45 billion yuan (US$6.7 billion), terms of the deal seen by Bloomberg News said. The company has set a floor price of 339.67 yuan for the placement, the terms said. It plans to price the share sale tomorrow, said people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified. The placement includes a greenshoe option that could take the deal size to about US$6.87 billion, International Financing Review reported earlier yesterday, citing unidentified people.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, has decided to slow down its 3-nanometer chip production as Intel Corp, one of its major customers, plans to push back the launch of its new Meteor Lake tGPU chipsets to the end of next year, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday. That means Intel has canceled almost all of the 3-nanometer capacity booked for next year, with only a small amount of wafer input remaining for engineering verification, the Taipei-based researcher said in a report. Based on Intel’s original schedule, TSMC was to start producing the new chipsets in
DATA SHOW DOWNTURN: Manufacturing in Taiwan contracted as production and demand slumped, while growth in chip exports last month eased in South Korea World chip sales growth has decelerated for six straight months in another sign that the global economy is straining under the weight of rising interest rates and mounting geopolitical risks. Semiconductor sales rose 13.3 percent in June from a year earlier, down from 18 percent in May, data from the global peak industry body showed. The slowdown is the longest since the US-China trade dispute in 2018. The three-month moving average in chip sales has correlated with the global economy’s performance in the past few decades. The latest weakness comes as concern about a worldwide recession has prompted chipmakers such as Samsung
Italy is close to clinching a deal initially worth US$5 billion with Intel Corp to build an advanced semiconductor packaging and assembly plant in the country, two sources briefed on discussions said yesterday. Intel’s investment in Italy is part of a wider plan announced by the US chipmaker earlier this year to invest US$88 billion in building capacity across Europe, which is striving to cut its reliance on Asian chip imports and ease a supply crunch that has curbed output in the region’s strategic auto sector. Asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, the sources said the
Malaysia is scrambling to protect its assets as the descendants of the last sultan of the remote Philippine region of Sulu look to enforce a US$15 billion arbitration award in a dispute over a colonial-era land deal. In 1878, two European colonists signed a deal with the sultan for the use of his territory in present-day Malaysia — an agreement that independent Malaysia honored until 2013, paying the monarch’s descendants about US$1,000 per year. Now, 144 years later after the original deal, Malaysia is on the hook for the second-largest arbitration award on record for stopping the payments after a bloody incursion