Olympic sponsors weigh ties
Corporate sponsors of the Tokyo Olympic Games have hired consulting firms to advise them on whether to push ahead with Olympic-themed marketing plans or limit their association with an event that could damage their brands, the Financial Times reported. The consultants include Kantar Group from the UK and two Japan-based firms, Macromill Inc and Intage Holdings, it said, citing unidentified people. More than 60 Japanese firms, such as Toyota Motor Corp and beverage maker Asahi Group Holdings Ltd, have together paid more than US$3 billion to sponsor the Games.
Data security law passed
Beijing yesterday passed a data security law, strengthening its control over digital information amid a crackdown on local technology giants and market access disputes with the US. The legislation was approved by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, state broadcaster China Central Television said. The full text of the legislation was not immediately released. An earlier draft called for establishing a categorical and hierarchical system for data and risk-assessment mechanisms.
Amazon probe mulled
The Competition and Markets Authority is planning a formal investigation into Amazon.com Inc, the Financial Times reported, citing three people with knowledge of the matter. The competition regulator has been analyzing Amazon’s business for months, the newspaper said. While the timing and scope of any investigation were still being worked on, the probe might focus on whether Amazon favors merchants that use its logistics and delivery services, the report said. The move follows an ongoing EU investigation into Amazon.
Central bank head to change
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Wednesday said that he would nominate Secretary of Finance and Public Credit Arturo Herrera to head the central bank, replacing Rogelio Ramirez de la O, as he aims at maintaining the current economic policy in his remaining three years in office. The move came days after Lopez Obrador suffered a setback in midterm legislative elections in which his ruling party lost its absolute majority in the lower house of Congress. The nomination must be approved by the Senate.
Aramco sells Islamic bonds
Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco), the world’s biggest energy company, on Wednesday sold US$6 billion of bonds in its first US dollar-denominated Islamic bond sale. The state-controlled firm sold sukuk due in three, five and 10 years, and the longest portion would yield 120 basis points above Treasuries, a person familiar with the matter said. That is down from initial talks of about 160 basis points. Order books for the sale were in excess of US$60 billion, they said.
Deutsche eyes provision cut
Deutsche Bank AG expects to book a 100 million euros (US$122 million) provision in the second quarter of this year after a German court ruling allowed some clients to challenge higher fees on their accounts. Germany’s largest lender expects that the ruling would also influence revenue by 100 million euros in the second and third quarter, Deutsche Bank chief financial officer James von Moltke said. Von Moltke reiterating a guidance for a more “normalized” market impact in the second quarter and the remainder of the year.
‘FINGERPRINTING’: The ‘private relay’ feature hides a user’s IP address by rerouting the Web connection through a third party, making it impossible to infer their identity Apple Inc on Monday said a new “private relay” feature designed to obscure a user’s Web browsing behavior from Internet service providers and advertisers would not be available in China for regulatory reasons. The feature was one of a number of privacy protections Apple announced at its annual software developer conference on Monday, the latest in a years-long effort by the company to cut down on the tracking of its users by advertisers and other third parties. Apple’s decision to withhold the feature in China is the latest in a string of compromises the company has made on privacy in a country
SUPPLY CHAIN RESHUFFLE: The chipmaker was ‘cautious’ in not making commitments too early in building production in the US, citing ‘geopolitical factors,’ Nikkei Asia said Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is considering building an advanced IC packaging plant in the US following a massive investment to set up a wafer fab in Arizona, Nikkei Asia reported. TSMC was considering the plant in response to “Washington’s desire to bring more of the tech supply chain onto home turf,” the report said. TSMC increasingly faces the need to expand in the US, which accounts for about 62 percent of its total sales, Nikkei Asia said, citing three sources who declined to be named. The potential US plant would be equipped with the latest 3D stacking technologies to arrange chips
Apple Inc has hired Ulrich Kranz, a former senior executive at BMW AG’s electric vehicle (EV) division, to help lead its own vehicle efforts, people familiar with the situation said. The tech giant hired Kranz in recent weeks, about a month after he stepped down as CEO of Canoo Inc, a developer of self-driving EVs. Before cofounding Canoo, Kranz was senior vice president of the group that developed the i3 and i8 cars at BMW, where he worked for 30 years. Kranz is one of Apple’s most significant automotive hires, a clear sign that the iPhone maker is determined to build a
PLEDGE: The contract chipmaker said it would issue at least NT$2.5 a share each quarter and no less than NT$10 per share for the whole of this year Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, yesterday raised its proposed cash dividend for last quarter to NT$2.75 per share from NT$2.5 a year earlier, given the company’s increased earnings. That represents a payout ratio of about 51 percent based on its earnings per share of NT$5.39 in the first three months of this year. TSMC said that its board of directors approved the cash dividend distribution yesterday. The Hsinchu-based chipmaker reassured its investors that it intends to maintain a stable and sustainable dividend policy. The company said that it would issue at least NT$2.5 a share