Also made in Mexico: Lifesaving devices

first_img By Sarah Varney — Kaiser Health News April 3, 2017 Reprints 5 makeshift — and ingenious — ways to improve medical devices When President Donald Trump threatens to redo trade deals and slap steep taxes on imports, he focuses largely on car companies and makers of air conditioners. But the medical devices business makes a particularly revelatory case study of the difficulties of untangling global trade.America imports about 30 percent of its medical devices and supplies. The trouble is, there are barriers to importing the jobs tied to making them. To ensure the safety of products that often end up inside the human body, medical devices are strictly regulated and require lengthy approvals from the Food and Drug Administration and other inspectors.advertisement If the US does approve a border tax, Felix Diaz added, “the final customer is going to pay.”The final tally of just how much American customers — hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and doctors’ offices — would pay is unclear. Trump and Republican lawmakers have yet to release a detailed plan on trade tariffs or corporate tax reform.In addition, the final price on many medical devices is negotiated by group purchasing organizations, which harness the purchasing power of hospitals and others and would try to mitigate any price increases.Mike Alkire, chief operating officer at Premier, which negotiates for some 3,750 American hospitals, said that while prices would initially spike if the Trump administration hit countries like Mexico or China with tariffs, “we’ve got enough diversity in the way we source products, we think we can manage the costs.”“Over the long term,” Alkire added, “we do think the market will stabilize and the most efficient place to produce products will occur.”Chief executives at some of the United States’ largest hospitals have nervously watched the gathering legislative, economic and geopolitical storm. The executives say this concern on trade is based on simple math.In Chicago, Cook County’s public clinics and hospitals spend $62 million a year on medical supplies, including 120,432 boxes of gloves, 44,434 boxes of syringes and 403,460 bags of fluids. Safety-net hospitals that care for poor patients would be unable to pass along price increases because the programs that insure those patients, Medicaid and Medicare, pay fixed rates for care.“It’s a bunch of dominoes,” said Doug Elwell, deputy chief executive for finance and strategy at the county hospital system. Private or for-profit hospitals, because they serve largely privately insured patients, “can pass along 10 percent in the bill,” he said. “But we can’t.” If the US does approve a border tax, “the final customer is going to pay.” BusinessAlso made in Mexico: Lifesaving devices About the Author Reprints American hospitals rely on heaps of bandages and surgical gloves from China, suturing needles and artificial joints from Ireland, and defibrillators and catheters from Mexico. In all, the annual imports of medical devices more than tripled from 2001 to 2016, reaching $43.9 billion, according to BMI Research, a unit of the Fitch Group.Mexico is the leading supplier, ahead of Ireland, Germany and China. And few places illustrate this changing landscape, or help explain the complexity of the industry, as well as Tijuana, 20 miles south of San Diego.The city houses the highest concentration of Mexico’s medical device firms, 70 percent of which are American-owned, according to the local development group. Companies including Medtronic, CareFusion, DJO Global and Hill-Rom-Welch Allyn — some that have their headquarters just up the road in San Diego — have invested heavily in Tijuana, constructing long, low-slung factories tucked into the hilly terrain. Giant banners hanging from manufacturing plants plead for workers to join them.The high-tech operations emerged after NAFTA helped transform Mexican border factories, known as maquiladoras, into industrial powerhouses. Now, instead of being garment sweatshops, many maquiladoras in Tijuana employ a new generation of Mexican engineers and skilled technicians to make orthopedic devices, surgical equipment and catheters. The factories have helped remake the city’s reputation from a ribald party town to a locus of sophisticated industrial manufacturing. Roadside shanties made of corrugated metal and plastic abut new apartment complexes painted fuchsia and lime green; late-model SUVs bounce along potholed roads. Workers pass through imposing security gates to begin shifts operating advanced machinery or delicately sewing pig tissue onto stents for heart valves, and trucks zip in a steady line across the border in preclearance, fast-track lanes into California.But the possibility of new protectionist trade policies is already looming over this buzz of activity. The question for many people here is whether it will upend the economic incentives that led American companies to invest in the city in the first place.Trump has argued that a border tax is needed to keep well-paying jobs in the United States and dissuade companies from relying on Mexican workers who earn a small fraction of American wages. Technicians at medical device factories in Tijuana earn about $14 an hour, compared with about $25 an hour for technicians at factories in the US.Critics of Mexico’s maquiladoras system contend that wages are kept unfairly low and that workers have been kept from organizing. For companies, though, the savings are clear — as much as 45 percent for labor-intensive products — and have helped fuel the wave of development here.Now, even the city’s unflappable longtime entrepreneurs are unsettled by the shift in trade talk.American companies draft plans to build plants — or expand existing ones — years in advance, said Miguel Felix Diaz, vice president of the Baja California Medical Device Cluster, an organization that represents 63 medical device manufacturing plants that employ 60,000 Mexican workers.“For that reason now,” he said, “you don’t know if you start some operation tomorrow how it’s going to be affected.” A border tax, experts say, would ricochet back and forth across the US-Mexican border — and around the world — in unintended ways.Mexico’s medical device industry buys much of its raw materials and capital machinery from American suppliers. The American-owned Integer plant in Tijuana, for example, buys 90 percent of its raw materials, essentially duty-free, from the US: stainless steel to be stamped into cups used for hip replacements and plastic to be molded into catheters. Then half of the factory’s output is shipped back to the USA and much of the rest to Puerto Rico and American-owned companies in Switzerland and Singapore.If Mexico imposes tariffs on raw materials from American suppliers, a likely response to any border tax imposed by the US, production costs would spike for companies in Mexico or those companies would shift to suppliers in other countries eager to cut low-tariff deals, like China. Imports from China contain around 4 percent of content from the US, while imports from Mexico contain about 40 percent, and even more in products like medical devices.“The damage wouldn’t just be to the Mexico operation, it would be to US suppliers,” said Christopher Wilson, deputy director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.Companies would also face a regulatory thicket should they move or change suppliers.The FDA inspects and certifies hundreds of medical device manufacturers in China, Europe, Mexico and elsewhere, and even minor manufacturing changes must be certified, a process that can take many months.“Medical devices is a very stringent process,” said Jorge Hernandez, director of operations at Integer in Tijuana, an American-owned company that makes components for pacemakers and defibrillators, among other devices.The Integer plant in Tijuana that Hernandez oversees looks like a vast scientific laboratory. Behind glass windows, in so-called clean rooms, employees in blue hair caps and bootees tend to machines that process gold and platinum into tiny components for pacemakers. In one room, workers sit shoulder to shoulder, peering into microscopes as they expertly remove tiny debris from freshly made parts. Even the smallest change in these manufacturing protocols would require a new inspection. Related: TIJUANA, Mexico — The North American Free Trade Agreement has transformed this sprawling and gumptious border town from a gritty party spot to something entirely different: a world capital of medical devices.Trucks choke boulevards lined with factories, many bearing the names of American-born companies: Medtronic, Hill-Rom, DJO Global and Greatbatch Medical. Inside, Mexican workers churn out millions of medical devices each day, from intravenous bags to artificial respirators, for the global market.Nearly all Americans with pacemakers — and people worldwide — walk around with parts from here.advertisementcenter_img Related: Trump proposes shuttering NIH program that promotes medical research overseas Integer’s legacy company, Greatbatch Medical, opened the plant in 2005. Over the years, the company consolidated some of its manufacturing from Carson City, Nev., and Columbia, Md., to Tijuana, drawn by the lower wages and the pool of skilled technicians graduating from Mexican universities.The company, like many others here, is seamlessly integrated: Employees in Tijuana connect via videoconferences with research and development teams in the US to fine-tune product designs. The border seems like a quaint historical footnote.“People need to understand this relationship we have goes both ways,” said David Mayagoitia, president of the board of the Tijuana Economic Development Corp.Sitting inside an office in a modern glass-and-concrete building in downtown Tijuana, Felix Diaz said Mexicans and Americans had built strong relationships.“We are dealing daily, we are eating together, we drink a couple of tequilas,” he said. “We don’t want to start any commercial war.”This story was originally published on Kaiser Health News.  Sarah Varney — Kaiser Health News My daughter is fighting a rare disease. A ‘streamlined’ FDA won’t help her As a result, any tariff tinkering by the Trump administration could jolt not only the devices industry in coming years but health care nationwide.Here in Tijuana, the factories are bound to stay put for years, at least. During that time, health executives say, a border tax could fracture the industry’s sophisticated global supply chain and force American hospitals to pay more for vital necessities — or worse.“The real danger is the supplies won’t be available at all,” said Dr. John Jay Shannon, chief executive of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System in Chicago. Some of Medtronic’s replacement heart valves are manufactured in Mexico. Susan Walsh/AP Miguel Felix Diaz, vice president of the Baja California Medical Device Cluster Related:last_img read more

Increasing the Costs of Being Nuclear

first_img [imText1]At a seminar held by the Sejong Institute entitled “The North Korean nuclear issue and regime change,” researcher Oh Gyeung Seob told attendees, “Although the international community has threatened North Korea, it has not been effective enough to make the regime feels its existence is under threat.”Researcher Oh went on, “The reason why the North’s will to possess nuclear weapons is becoming so firm is because the benefits of possessing nuclear weapons are much greater than the costs of possessing them. Therefore, while the international community has a limited range of tools at its disposal, North Korea has been gaining value from negotiations through its vague will to give them up.”He added, “The fundamental dilemma is that there is no solution if the North Korean regime subsequently rejects the abandonment of its nuclear program. Therefore, the international community should look for the best ways to place sanctions on North Korea and constantly try to persuade them via the Six-Party Talks.” He suggested three military options to the South Korean administration: further develop its own military capabilities, strengthen the U.S. nuclear umbrella and examine the possibility of going nuclear.He also recommended some other options, “Aside from the military options, the way to increase the cost of possessing nuclear weapons is to prohibit the North from dealing in arms with foreign countries and to block the channels providing them with the funding for their nuclear developments through strong economic and financial sanctions”However, he expressed one key concern, “Unless China takes part in enforcing the sanctions, they will not be effective.”The North’s overall trade reliance on China in 2008 exceeded 70%, over 90% in energy, 80% in consumers’ goods and 45% in food. There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest Facebook Twitter AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] News News News SHAREcenter_img News Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China Increasing the Costs of Being Nuclear By Daily NK – 2009.10.09 10:49pm last_img read more

U.S. Bank to pay US$18M to customers of collapsed brokerage

first_img Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank has been ordered to pay US$18 million to the customers of failed futures firm Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. after its accounts were used in the firm’s fraud against clients. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that chief judge Linda Reade of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa entered an order today imposing a permanent injunction against U.S. Bank National Association, and ordering the bank to pay US$18 million, which is to be returned to former clients of Peregrine Financial. Related news Imposters among us, CSA warns Keywords FraudCompanies Commodity Futures Trading Commission Back in 2012, Peregrine’s owner, Russell Wasendorf, Sr. was criminally charged and pled guilty in connection with the fraud that led to the firm’s failure; and, in early 2013, he was sentenced to 50 years in prison and ordered to pay more than US$215 million in restitution. According to the CFTC, the bank served as a depository for Peregrine and held a customer segregated funds account that Wasendorf used to defraud more than 24,000 Peregrine clients. It reports that between June 2008 and July 2012, Wasendorf withdrew and transferred approximately US$36 million from the segregated account to people and entities that were not Peregrine customers. The CFTC charged the bank with improperly treating the segregated account like a regular business chequing account, and allowing Wasendorf to withdraw customer money for non-customer purposes. “Russell Wasendorf stole enormous sums of money that Peregrine’s customers entrusted to him. He is responsible for his crimes. However, that fact does not excuse U.S. Bank’s failure to meet its own responsibilities to safeguard Peregrine’s customer funds that it held,” said CFTC director of enforcement, Aitan Goelman. The regulator reports that the bank has since implemented new policies and procedures specifically applicable to these sorts of segregated accounts. The judge’s order enjoins U.S. Bank from committing future violations and requires it to pay US$18 million to the court-appointed trustee for Peregrine. James Langton center_img Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Retail trading surge on regulators’ radar, Vingoe says DoJ launches task force to tackle Covid-19 fraud Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

119 New Members Added to ISCF

first_imgRelated119 New Members Added to ISCF FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The complement of the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF), has been boosted with the addition of 119 new members, comprising 88 males and 31 females.On July 4, the new members were presented with certificates at a Passing-Out Parade, held at the Carl Rattray Training College in Runaway Bay, St. Ann.“These 119 persons are graduating at a critical juncture in our history. I say it is a critical juncture for two reasons. Firstly, because of the alarming state of crime and violence in our country and secondly, because we are on the cusp of a new era of policing in Jamaica,” State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Arthur Williams said at the ceremony.He pointed out that since the start of 2008, there have been 826 murders, 747 cases of shooting, 386 cases of rape, 211 cases of carnal abuse, 107 cases of larceny, 967 cases of break-ins and 1,183 cases of robbery.“It is not going to be easy, because there are some criminals out there who are waging war against both citizens and the security forces, with the aim of terrorizing and intimidating the entire society. These terrorist gunmen would like to believe that the gun gives power not to obey the laws of the land, but gives them the freedom to rob, to rape, to shoot and murder at will,” Senator Williams said, adding that the persons who were committing those criminal offences were in the minority.He reminded the graduates that there were still decent law abiding citizens in the society and that they should be treated with respect.“You are being given enormous power – the power to deprive people of their liberty. You must only exercise that power when it is absolutely necessary and even then you must have due regard for the rights of people and continue to treat them with respect,” the State Minister urged the graduates.He welcomed them to the ISCF and wished them all the best as they work to make communities safer. Related119 New Members Added to ISCF 119 New Members Added to ISCF UncategorizedJuly 8, 2008center_img Related119 New Members Added to ISCF Advertisementslast_img read more

Collector Classics: Spring cleaning like a pro

first_imgTrending in Canada advertisement Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 Expert car detailer Glen Yates buffs up the 33-year-old paint on his 1940 Ford street rod. Alyn Edwards is a classic car enthusiast and partner in Peak Communicators, a Vancouver-based public relations company. [email protected] “I had never seen such a mess and everything was fixed,” Yates recalls. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2The beautifully detailed 1940 Ford sedan.Alyn Edwards, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2A random orbital sander and high-quality detailing products can make an old car new again.Alyn Edwards, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2The interior of Glen Yates’ 1940 Ford shows off the meticulous care he gives his street rod.Alyn Edwards, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2A 383 cubic inch Chevrolet ‘stroker’ engine powers the 1940 Ford seda.Alyn Edwards, Driving See More Videos PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” Your Corner Wrench: Take care with spring cleaning your carA clay bar provides the magic touch. When used with detail spray for lubricant and rubbed over the vehicle surface, the clay bar removes dirt, grime, brake dust, oxidized paint, overspray and damage from acid rain.“The clay bar actually pulls particles out of the paint,” Yates explains. “It works the same on paint, chrome and glass.”He recommends a random orbital polisher as opposed to a rotary polisher to remove paint defects like scratches, swirl marks and imperfections: “This creates no heat so it won’t burn through paint while it removes, not leaves, swirl marks.”Carnauba waxes, derived from the leaves of the Brazilian palm tree Copernica Cerifera, are recommended, as they are the hardest natural wax products available. Yates applies this wax by hand with a soft microfiber applicator pad so it gets in every nook and cranny.For chrome, a non-abrasive chrome polish is recommended so it won’t scratch the soft chrome and aluminum parts.Do not use strong chemical cleaner for wheels and tires. If it dries on the surface, it can ruin aluminum wheels. Recommended is an abrasive-free anti-oxidant cleaner that removes dirt and oxidization without damaging wheels, but will remove micro scratches and restore a high shine.No silicone. That applies to the choice for tire dressing where the turning wheels can throw silicone down the side of the vehicle damaging the paint or on upholstery where it can dry out plastic and vinyl causing cracking.“One third of the vehicle is glass and it shouldn’t be ignored,” notes Yates. “Use a product with no alcohol or ammonia which leaves streaks.”The engine compartment should receive attention and be cleaned first so grease and dirt doesn’t get on a clean vehicle.Never use a pressure washer with a high-pressure direct water stream that can damage the many electrical solenoids and plastic connectors in today’s vehicles. For older vehicles, carefully cover carburetors and distributors so no water gets in.Use a water soluble degreaser and a soft brush to clean surfaces.The 1940 Ford sedan street rod, owned by Yates for 18 years, and was painted in 1985. It shows off his meticulous detailing and ongoing care. He often uses it as a demonstration vehicle when he holds detailing clinics for car clubs and other groups.Glen Yates is particularly proud of the apple green 1932 Packard sedan and 1936 Auburn convertible he detailed before a show in Vancouver last year. They took first and second place in the Concours class. RELATED TAGSVintage / ClassicClassic CarsClassic Cars & TrucksNew VehiclesVancouverVintage & Collectible Trending Videos COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ‹ Previous Next › Yates took early retirement and started selling the products the detail shop was using and demonstrating how well they work. He’s been doing this for 10 years and has cleaned and detailed thousands of vehicles ranging from classics to customs to new Bentley and Rolls-Royce luxury cars.He has dozens of before and after photographs. Among them is a 1955 Packard that had sat outside for many years with the original dark blue paint turning dull and milky. The new owner of the car was going to have the car stripped and repainted when Yates came on the scene. The results of a good cleaning and workover with a random orbital buffer using the right polishing products performed a miracle of rejuvenation. The car looks new again.Here are some tricks of his trade.Yates uses a seven-step detailing program starting with the right cleaning products. Trade in that brush that can scratch a car’s finish for a soft synthetic mitt or cloth. Use soap with neutral PH. It’s non acidic and non-corrosive. The product description will say PH7 – which is neutral. That way, the soap won’t harm paint and leave water spots.Use city water if possible rather than well water that could contain tiny particles that will create water spots.Use a wash bucket with a grit guard. That is a screen near the bottom that allows sand and dirt that can scratch the finish to sink to the bottom.Rinse vehicle before washing and start soaping it from the top down to the belt line – rinsing regularly to get rid of dirt and grit so it isn’t rubbed into the finish. Wash below the belt line last.RELATED We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. Master detailer Glen Yates remembers the day the light bulb went on for making cars beautiful. He traveled the world as technical sales rep for paper manufacturers and went with a California customer to pick his new triple-black Corvette at a dealership. They were shocked to see the new car’s finish was covered with swirl marks and scratches.“How do you like your new car?” the salesman asked the new owner. “If this is my new car, it’s not,” came the reply from the disgruntled buyer.The sales manager said he would take care of it. When Yates and the car’s new owner picked the car up at a detail shop the next night, it was perfect. last_img read more

Tesla to cut 75-kWh battery pack for Model S and Model X

first_img COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS Trending in Canada Trending Videos Effective next week, Tesla will no longer be offering its Model S and Model X with the 75-kWh battery pack, which was formerly the base-level option. This means the base level models for both the flagship sedan Model S and the flagship SUV Model X will be bumped up by about US$15,000 each. The news was broken by the brand’s eccentric leader Elon Musk on Twitter. ‹ Previous Next › See More Videos He named Sunday night as the final date the 75-kWh battery versions will still be available in what was basically a classic “get ‘em while they’re hot” message. Some speculate the cancelation is a way for Tesla to avoid having two of basically the same cars in the entry level Model S and top-of-the-line Model 3. Others wondered if this was a sign of the things to come for the two vehicles. One Twitter user asked so in a reply, “Is Model S & X being phased out over the next year or two?” Musk replied almost immediately with a “Def not.” And there it is, straight from the horse’s mouth. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 With falcon-wing doors opened, the Model X looks poised for flight. And no, Elon Musk hasn’t revealed that option. Yet. The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever RELATED TAGSTeslaLuxuryNews PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca advertisement Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. The bottom line is that if you want to get into a Tesla Model S or Model X for as little as possible, you might want to consider pulling the trigger on that order by Sunday. Otherwise, have you considered the Model 3? last_img read more

Challenger, Columbia memorial event to be held Feb. 2

first_imgShare Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Published: Jan. 27, 2020 The annual memorial event will take place on campus at 9:38 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, to honor the astronauts who perished in the Challenger and Columbia disasters.If you goWho: Open to the publicWhat: Challenger MemorialWhen: Sunday, Feb. 2, 9:38 a.m.Where: Regent Administrative CenterThe event will begin in front of the Regent Administrative Center. Air Force ROTC cadets will be conducting a silent march from there to the Columbia and Challenger memorials in Kittredge and to Col. Ellison Onizuka’s plaque by the Engineering Center. Colonel Onizuka, of the Challenger, was a member of CU’s AFROTC Detachment 105.On Jan. 28, 1986, Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Ronald McNair, Judith Resnik, Gregory Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, and CU Boulder alumnus and Air Force ROTC Detachment 105 graduate Col. Ellison Onizuka lost their lives in the Challenger disaster. The space shuttle Challenger lifted off at 11:38 EST from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and exploded 73 seconds later.The event will also honor those who perished during the Feb. 1, 2003, space shuttle Columbia mission: Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Laurel Clark, Ilan Ramon and Kalpana Chawla, who earned her PhD from CU Boulder.Categories:GeneralEvents & Exhibitslast_img read more

Combes faces scrutiny over €13.7M AlcaLu payout

first_img Previous ArticlePrivate equity firm Helios looks to end Orange’s Kenya sagaNext ArticleGoogle Play carrier billing comes to South Africa Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >> Read more Related Nokia scores Philippines 5G deal with Dito Author Home Combes faces scrutiny over €13.7M AlcaLu payout UPDATED 2.20PM: Michel Combes is facing scrutiny over a bumper compensation package he is due following his departure as Alcatel-Lucent CEO, with France’s financial regulator AMF stating it will look into the matter.Combes, who was this week appointed COO of cable-to-mobile group Altice and chairman of its mobile subsidiary Numericable SFR, has come under fire in France following reports that he will receive almost €14 million in stock by 2018 for his services to Alcatel-Lucent.The exiting chief is widely renowned for turning around the fortunes of the struggling French vendor when taking on the job in 2013, as well as masterminding the company’s €15.6 billion sale to Nokia, which led to his departure.Questions have however been raised over the size of Combes’ package, given that he was in the job for just over two years.Executive compensation and golden parachutes are also controversial topics in France. The Financial Times reports the issue became increasingly contentious since the election of the Socialist Party in 2012, with President Francois Hollande using a crackdown on big payouts as a central theme to his campaign.According to Reuters, AMF first raised concerns over Combes’ compensation package at the end of last month, which Alcatel rejected earlier this week, stating that it had acted transparently and in line with guidelines.AMF head Gerard Rameix hit back yesterday, claiming Alcatel’s response “seems unconvincing in terms of good governance, or even in legal terms”.AMF staff have reportedly been ordered to look into whether industry standard governance codes had been respected, which includes compliance of rules allowing investors to have a “say on pay”, as part of amended rules in 2013.“Shocking” and “bad corporate behaviour”France’s economy minister Emmanuel Macron said today he is waiting for a verdict on the circumstances of Combes’ departure from AMF and a corporate governance committee by the end of the week.Speaking to reporters, Macron said Combes’ departure before the finalisation of the Nokia takeover was “shocking” and showed “bad corporate behaviour”.“It’s not normal that a big company boss is the first to jump ship. Combes led a merger of Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia that we supported,” said Macron.“So it is neither comprehensible nor acceptable that Combes has decided today to leave the company, when the transaction hasn’t even been completed, both morally and in terms of the proper functioning of the company.”Speaking to local radio, France’s finance minister Michel Sapin also weighed into the issue, stating that executive pay, “at any given moment, is necessary to have some common sense, a little measure, some restraint. In this case, Michel Combes has not had any”.Combes defended the payment in an interview with French Daily Les Echos earlier this week, saying the sum he is due to receive was down to reducing a fixed portion of his own salary to €1.2 million, while “maximising the variable portion”, which was dependent on long term group performance.Despite the outcry over the package, Combes’ pay-out is smaller than some of his counterparts in the industry known for leading their companies to big mergers.Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop reportedly took home $25 million after the company’s handset business was taken over by Microsoft, while Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett walked away with a whopping $86.8 million after orchestrating the Liberty Global deal. Alianza sobre IA entre Nokia y Microsoftcenter_img Español Tags Nokia makes AI move with Microsoft AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 02 SEP 2015 AlcaLuAlticeCombesNokia Kavit Majithia last_img read more

SK Telecom stumbles in Q3 as regulation hits growth

first_img ICT business gains fuel SKT revenue HomeAsiaNews SK Telecom stumbles in Q3 as regulation hits growth activation feelower interconnection feesQ3 resultsSK TelecomSouth Korea Previous ArticleDefining the mobile broadband vision for 2020Next ArticleTelenor appoints law firm to probe Uzbek activities South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) reported a sharp fall in Q3 net income as well as a decline in revenue as it felt the impact of the government’s move to eliminate activation fees and a cut in interconnection fees.The operator, with a 49 per cent market share, saw its net income for the quarter ending 30 September decline 28 per cent to KRW381.8 billion ($335 million) year-on-year and EBITDA fall 1 per cent to KRW1.25 trillion. The company said its profit was also impacted by lower equity gains from SK Hynix.With network interconnection revenue dropping 22 per cent from a year ago, its revenue fell 2.4 per cent to KRW4.261 trillion. Mobile revenue also fell during the quarter, off 2.8 per cent to KRW2.74 trillion, due to more subscribers choosing mobile fee discounts based on their contracts, the company said.On the positive side, it added almost 2.3 million 4G subscribers over the past year, with 4G customers accounting for almost 65 per cent (18.46 million) of its total use base of 28.4 million – up from 57 per cent in Q3 2014.ARPU edged up marginally from KRW36,417 ($31.97) a year ago to KRW36,729 ($32.24) in Q3 2015. Its customer churn rate remained at 1.4 per cent – the same level as a year ago. It also added more than one million smartphone users over the past year, taking its total to 20.3 million.Capex for the period fell 32 per cent to KRW400 billion, and marketing expenses declined 9.2 per cent to KRW749 billion and represented 23.8 per cent of operating revenue, down from 25.2 per cent a year ago.To strengthen its media platform, the company said it plans to integrate the media-related capabilities of its subsidiaries. Its first move is to expand its investment in content production by merging SK Broadband and CJ Hellovision as well as strengthening its partnership and cooperation with CJ Corp.$440M cable stake acquisitionSK Telecom today announced it will acquire CJ O Shopping’s 30 per cent stake in CJ Hellovision – South Korea’s largest cable TV company – for KRW500 billion ($440 million). CJ O Shopping’s remaining stake (23.9 per cent) in CJ Hellovision can be later acquired by SKT through call and put options between the two firms.SKT said it will also boost CJ’s Corp’s paid-in capital by KRW150 billion and the firms will create two KRW50 billion funds to boost the media and ICT industries’ ecosystem. Joseph Waring Author AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 02 NOV 2015 center_img Korea operators make rural 5G pledge Related SKT tipped for Amazon streaming move Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he… Read more Tags Asia last_img read more

US halts Huawei staff visas

first_img El fundador de Huawei propugna una transición hacia el software Blog: How is chip shortage affecting US? Home US halts Huawei staff visas Previous ArticleVerizon, Cellwize put AI to work for 5GNext ArticleSpotify bets on Russia potential in expansion move AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 15 JUL 2020 FCC mulls expanded Huawei, ZTE bans Related Authorcenter_img Diana Goovaerts Diana is Mobile World Live’s US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only… Read more Huawei faced a fresh assault from the US government as officials set new visa restrictions on employees working for the vendor and other Chinese technology companies over alleged human rights abuses.Secretary of State Michael Pompeo (pictured, centre) stated the conditions apply to certain Huawei employees accused of providing “material support” to the Chinese Communist Party, which he accused of censoring political dissidents, and forcing citizens into internment camps and servitude. It is unclear how many Huawei workers will be impacted.He said employees of other Chinese technology companies will also be targeted, but did not elaborate.Pompeo warned global operators should “consider themselves on notice”.“If they are doing business with Huawei, they are doing business with human rights abusers”.Huawei has long denied ties to the Chinese government, a fact emphasised by founder and CEO Ren Zenghfei in a rare media briefing in early 2019. On its website, the company explains it is not possible for it to engage in spying because operators “control all aspects” of a network, including security and user data.The US move comes the day after the UK government banned the use of Huawei kit in operators’ 5G networks, a decision Pompeo praised.Pompeo noted the visa restrictions were implemented under a law allowing the US to block admission to individuals whose entry would “have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences”. Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back Español HuaweiUS sanction Tags last_img read more