Global computer chip shortage to run into the second half of 2022, warns Apple supplier Foxconn

Global computer chip shortage to run into the second half of 2022, warns Apple supplier Foxconn
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Updated 12 November 2021

Global computer chip shortage to run into the second half of 2022, warns Apple supplier Foxconn

Global computer chip shortage to run into the second half of 2022, warns Apple supplier Foxconn

TAIPEI: Apple supplier Foxconn forecast on Friday that a global chip shortage would run into the second half of 2022 and its fourth-quarter revenue for electronics, including smartphones, would fall more than 15 percent, Reuters is reporting. 

Chairman Liu Young-way said during a conference call that Foxconn was cautious about its 2022 revenue outlook, citing uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, inflation, geopolitical tensions and supply chains.

Earlier Foxconn, the world's largest contract electronics maker, reported a 20 percent jump in third-quarter profit.

“If not for supply shortages prospects for the fourth quarter could have been better,” he said, adding that supply of power management chips remained tight and a global chip crunch could last longer than his previous forecast of second quarter.

“Regarding next year's prospects, we will be relatively cautious in our outlook,” Liu added.

A year-long shortage of chips, initially due to sky-rocketing demand for smartphones and personal gadgets during the pandemic, spilled into the auto industry and disrupted production at companies ranging from Apple to GM.

Foxconn previously said it felt only a small impact from the crisis but had cautioned that rising COVID-19 cases in Asia could hurt its supply chain.

As well as forecasting the slide in revenue in its consumer electronics business, which includes smartphones, Foxconn said it expected overall fourth-quarter revenue to fall between 3 percent and 15 percent in the period. Analysts predicted an 11 percent drop, according to a Refinitiv consensus estimate.

Still, Foxconn said it expected supply shortages in Southeast Asia to ease this month and the next.

The outlook came after a strong third quarter, in which revenue rose 9 percent on the year, helped by strong smartphone demand that remained stable despite the supply problems.

Net profit jumped to T$36.98 billion ($1.33 billion), beating a Refinitiv consensus estimate of T$31.73 billion.

Analysts had said they expected robust iPhone sales boosted Foxconn's business in the third quarter, and the company secured more than 75 percent of assembly orders, including those for the latest iPhone 13. But they cautioned that supply chain problems could mute any further near-term increase in orders at Foxconn.

Apple said last month that supply chain woes cost it $6 billion in sales in the July-September quarter, and that this would worsen during the year-end holiday period.

Foxconn said it expects its electronic vehicle (EV) business to make a contribution to revenue in the third quarter of 2022, when it could start production in America in a partnership with Lordstown Motors Corp at the soonest.

Liu said he was looking to build more EV partnerships with companies in places including the Middle East, India and Europe to “serve the local markets”, but did not elaborate.

Foxconn has in recent months deepened its efforts to become a major player in EVs, including announcing deals to build cars with U.S. startup Fisker Inc.

Shares in Foxconn, formally called Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, closed 1.4 percent higher ahead of the earnings release, versus a 0.4 percent gain in the broader market. 


Aramco CEO says energy transition not going smoothly: Reuters

Aramco CEO says energy transition not going smoothly: Reuters
Updated 27 January 2022

Aramco CEO says energy transition not going smoothly: Reuters

Aramco CEO says energy transition not going smoothly: Reuters

BEIRUT: Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said on Thursday that the energy transition “was not going smoothly,” pointing to a resurgence in demand for oil and gas as the global economy recovers while supplies lag on the back of falling investment, according to Reuters.

“We all agree that to move towards a sustainable energy future a smooth energy transition is absolutely essential but we must also consider the complexities and challenges to get there,” he told the B20 conference in Indonesia via video link.

“We have to acknowledge that the current transition is not going smoothly,” he said.

- Reuters


SNB board recommends dividends of over $1bn for the second half of 2021

SNB board recommends dividends of over $1bn for the second half of 2021
Updated 27 January 2022

SNB board recommends dividends of over $1bn for the second half of 2021

SNB board recommends dividends of over $1bn for the second half of 2021

RIYADH: Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s biggest lender, said its board has recommended cash dividends of SR4.03 billion ($1.1 billion), or 9 percent of capital, for the second half of 2021.

SNB’s shareholders will receive SR0.9 per share, with a total amount of 4.48 billion shares eligible for dividends, a bourse statement by the bank revealed.

This brings the annual dividend yield to 2.12 percent, based on a share price of SR73, given the bank paid out SR0.65 per share for the first half of the same year.

The distribution date is yet to be disclosed, according to the statement.


Data-led innovation needed to help Saudi firms process information, says Dell ahead of LEAP

Data-led innovation needed to help Saudi firms process information, says Dell ahead of LEAP
Updated 27 January 2022

Data-led innovation needed to help Saudi firms process information, says Dell ahead of LEAP

Data-led innovation needed to help Saudi firms process information, says Dell ahead of LEAP

RIYADH: The majority of Saudi businesses gather data faster than it can be analyzed and used, Dell Technologies has warned ahead of the LEAP tech event being held in Riyadh from Feb. 1-3.

The US firm is set to take part in the forum, which is focused on future and disruptive technologies.

Ahead of the event, Mohamed Talaat, vice president in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Levant at Dell Technologies, pointed to research by his company in 2021 that showed 70 percent of Saudi respondents have data-driven business and consider data as the lifeblood of their organisation.

However, 59 percent said they were gathering data faster than they could analyze and use.

Talaat said: “Saudi Arabia today stands at the threshold of change, underpinned by the nation’s ambitious vision and drive to transform, innovate and build a legacy for generations to come.

“Dell Technologies remains committed to advancing the country’s transformation agenda. We're empowering local organizations with end-to-end infrastructure and client solutions. They not only support a data-driven work culture, but are also capable of predicting the future and achieving better business results.”


Pandemic fast food orders see Saudi chain Herfy triple profits in 2021

Pandemic fast food orders see Saudi chain Herfy triple profits in 2021
Updated 27 January 2022

Pandemic fast food orders see Saudi chain Herfy triple profits in 2021

Pandemic fast food orders see Saudi chain Herfy triple profits in 2021

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s largest food chain, Herfy Food Service Co. has seen over a threefold rise in its estimated annual profit for 2021, after a surge in its sales during the pandemic.

The estimated net profit amounted to SR162 million ($43.2 million), compared to SR52.8 million a year earlier, according to a bourse filing.

The hike was propelled by a jump in sales of 22 percent, reaching more than SR1.3 billion, as well as a fall in general and administrative expenses.

This came despite a decrease in other income and higher selling and marketing expenses, the Riyadh-based food chain owner said in a bourse statement.

Herfy Food Services was established in 1981, and the first Herfy restaurant opened in Riyadh that same year.


Shares in SoftBank trading at their lowest level since May 2020

Shares in SoftBank trading at their lowest level since May 2020
Updated 27 January 2022

Shares in SoftBank trading at their lowest level since May 2020

Shares in SoftBank trading at their lowest level since May 2020

RIYADH: Japan's SoftBank, backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund was among the most significant victims of the tech stock sell-off across Asia on Thursday, Bloomberg reported.

Investors turned on billionaire Masayoshi Son's company as the tightening phase of central bank policies unfolded.

The stock dropped as much as 9.8 percent in Tokyo, the most since March 2020, as Nasdaq futures tumbled and shares of the firm’s biggest investment, Alibaba Group, dropped in Hong Kong.

Hawkish signals from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell led investors to bet against technology companies, which have powered much of the recent growth in global markets: something SoftBank has been gambling on with its Vision Funds of speculative tech bets.

“SoftBank is a poster child of a firm highly leveraged to the current asset bubbles,” wrote Amir Anvarzadeh, senior strategist at Asymmetric Advisors Pte, who recommends shorting the stock.

“This latest lurch down in its value could add further pressure on its financing structure.”

Shares in SoftBank traded at their lowest level since May 2020, with reports that a planned sale of its Arm chip unit to Nvidia was likely to fall through also weighing on the stock.

Analysts pointed out that the failure of the deal may lead to a credit downgrade.