FirstFT: US asks South Korea not to fill market gap if China bans Micron chips

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Ahead of President Yoon Suk Yeol’s state visit to Washington today, the White House has called on South Korea to urges its chipmakers not to boost sales to China Beijing should ban Micron from selling chips, people familiar with the situation said.

China this month released a national security review of US-based Micron, one of the three dominant players in the global Dram memory chip market along with Samsung Electronics and South Korea’s SK Hynix. US officials and business executives believe this is in retaliation for President Joe Biden’s moves to prevent China from obtaining or manufacturing advanced semiconductors.

It’s unclear if any punitive action will be taken after the investigation, but with mainland China and Hong Kong generating 25 percent of its $30.8 billion in revenue last year, the stakes are high for Micron.

The case has become a litmus test of whether Beijing is willing to take coercive economic measures against a major US company for the first time. While the US has worked with allies to counter China in the area of ​​security in the Indo-Pacific, this is the first known occasion where it has asked an ally to enlist its companies to play a role.

This is what I’m checking the most today:

  • Results: Troubled lenders Credit Suisse and First Republic Bank report, as do The Coca-Cola Company, Philips and Vivendi.

  • EU meeting: The bloc’s Foreign Affairs Council meets in Luxembourg to discuss Russia’s war against Ukraine.

  • Economic data: Ifo has its business climate index for Germany and Rightmove publishes its house price index for the UK.

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2. Investors are underestimating how much eurozone borrowing costs will rise, the head of Belgium’s central bank told the Financial Times. Pierre Wunsch, a member of the European Central Bank’s rate-setting council, said that agree to stop interest rate hikes only if wage growth slows.

3. The UK’s strictest legislation on sexual harassment in the workplace will be shelved after a series of amendments from his Conservative peers hampered his progress in parliament. Groups urging ministers to prioritize long-awaited legislation in the wake of CBI rape allegations have accused the peers of seeking to “ruin” the bill.

4. Jeff Shell will step down as CEO of NBCUniversal after an “inappropriate relationship” with a colleague, parent company Comcast said yesterday. A complaint had given rise to an investigation led by an external lawyer on the company’s 19-year veteran.

5. US President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act may actually complicate efforts to reduce inflation, Critics ranging from Bank of America to BlackRock’s Larry Fink have warned, though it has sparked an investment boom. Here’s why the scale of federal subsidies is causing concern.

the great read

SVB mount

© FT/Bloomberg Montage

The weeks since Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse on March 10 have brought an uneasy realization: The problems that led to the biggest bank run in history were not some freak event or unforeseen emergency. Before the first official post-mortem on its failure, almost everyone agrees that the crisis had been hiding in plain sight.

We are also reading. . .

chart of the day

Tech companies boosted earnings warnings for UK-listed companies in the first quarter to their highest for the period since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020as economic uncertainty led to contracts being delayed and cancelled.

Line chart of the number of quarterly earnings warnings showing the increase in earnings warnings in the technology and telecommunications sector

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