The technology equipment manufacturing behemoth, the maker of Apple’s ($AAPL) iPhones, and one of the most controversial firms in this sector, Hon Hai Precision ($HNHAF), otherwise known as Foxconn Technology, is currently investigating claims that some of its employees have accepted bribes from its “supply chain partners.” The company is based in Taiwan but does almost all of its manufacturing in China. The firm is known for its high quality of products but its reputation has been hit by the poor working conditions at its facilities that have created labor unrest, including more than a dozen suicides. In spite of these difficulties Foxconn is looking to expand its production base into a new market, itself struggling with labor difficulties, Indonesia.
The world’s leading oil and gas service company Schlumberger (NYSE:$SLB) released an earnings warning due to project delays in Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States and Africa as well as a slowdown in drilling activity in North America. Earnings therefore are expected to be up to $0.07 lower than expected.
China based world’s fourth largest steelmaker, Baoshan Iron & Steel Co (Baosteel), has closed its Shanghai plant that it purchased for $2.2 billion just four years ago with annual production of 3MT. With the falling levels of demand, the plant has been piling up losses. It was primarily used to manufacture steel slabs for the ship making industry. Baosteel hasn’t disclosed when the plant will be reopened.
Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE:$TM) has recalled 7.4 million vehicles, about the same size as the total units sold in previous fiscal year, from around the world over defective window switches. This would be the world’s second biggest vehicle recall ever behind Ford Motor (NYSE:$F)’s 8 million recall about sixteen years ago.
One of the leading Chinese energy companies and the continent’s biggest refiner, China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (NYSE:$SNP), also known as Sinopec Group, has decided to temporarily shut down three plants in China – two refineries with a total production capacity of 370,000 bpd and a petrochemical plant- over environmental concerns after state media reported some irregularities.This news highlights the government’s change in attitude towards environmental problems that are now being taken seriously after increasing pressure from the public. These plant closures, located in Guangdong province, are expected to cut diesel supply by 400,000 metric tons, more than 61% of the province’s total demand, and will result in fuel shortages in the region for about 20 days.
Peter Pham is an author, international fund manager, and a registered financial director by the Cayman Monetary Authority (CIMA). In 2013 he published his first book entitled, The Big Trade: Simple Strategies for Maximum Market Returns. He currently manages the portfolio of a global hedge fund and runs an asset management company, Phoenix Capital. (read more)
The Big Trade: Simple Strategies for Maximum Market Returns
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