The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) yesterday trimmed its forecast for the nation’s economic growth to 3.76 percent from an estimate of 3.91 percent in May, given slowing global trade and weaker export momentum. It is the second time that DGBAS cut its prediction, after it lowered the figure to 3.85 percent last month. The 0.15 percentage point revision brings the forecast lower than those estimated by most think tanks. “We have a mild revision because we found that most sectors still report stable growth rather than a drastic correction,” DGBAS Minister Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民) told a news conference in Taipei. Slower demand for exports is the main reason for the revision, as the IMF had cut its forecast for global trade growth this year to 4.1 percent from five percent given surging inflation, the war in Ukraine war and tightened monetary measures, Chu said. The agency cut its forecast for the nation’s exports to US$506.7 billion for this year, compared with an earlier estimate of US$516.1 billion. However, the revised export figures still represent annual growth of 13.51 percent, Chu said. Imports are forecast to grow faster than exports, by 16.8 percent annually to US$445.6 billion, as domestic manufacturers have significant demand for foreign-made machinery, DGBAS Statistics Department head Tsai Yu-tai (蔡鈺泰) said. Trade surplus in goods and services is expected to book US$114.1 billion, down from US$115.1 billion last year, the agency said. As a result, net demand from foreign markets is predicted to contribute 0.85 percentage points to GDP growth, down from 1.85 percent last year and 2.67 percent in 2020, Tsai said. However, DGBAS boosted its growth forecast for domestic investment to 6.55 percent for the year, up by nearly 2 percentage points from an earlier estimate, as the agency had seen stronger-than-expected momentum, especially from semiconductor companies, offshore wind power developers
Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶), the world’s No. 2 contract notebook computer maker, yesterday said it expects notebook shipments to decline 20 percent annually this year, matching an industry slump, as corporations cut spending amid a progressing economic slowdown. Corporate demand at the beginning of this year was considered a lifesaver to the PC industry, when demand dipped after students returned to school and consumers were cautioned on spending after surging energy and food costs weakened purchasing power. “Corporations have begun to worry about inflation and a recession, leading to a slowdown in hiring and corporate spending, which is affecting commercial PCs,” Compal president Martin Wong (翁宗斌) told investors during a teleconference. “The situation looks more severe in the second half than we had thought,” he added. Because of slumping demand, entire PC supply chains have entered an inventory correction period, Wong said, adding that it might take four to five months for the industry to clear excessive inventory. “Some customers have drastically slashed shipment targets for this year,” he said. Compal saw inventory — mostly raw materials — rise 25 percent year-over-year to NT$148.46 billion (US$4.95 billion) as of June 30. Compal expects PC shipments this quarter to drop a low single-digit percentage from the previous quarter. However, non-PC shipments — such as automotive, 5G-related and medical devices — should grow by double-digit percentages, benefiting from seasonal demand, Wong said. The notebook computer maker expects a moderate recovery in the fourth quarter for PC and non-PC product shipments, as some customers overreacted to the inventory-driven slowdown and were extremely cautious about ordering. Compal said this year should be much different from past years, as PC shipments in the second half are expected to be almost equal to that of the first half, it said. Second-half shipments usually comprise about 55 percent of whole-year shipments, as the third and
PC vendor Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) yesterday saw its share price dive to its lowest level in about 19 months, after sagging PC demand drove down quarterly net profit by 83 percent year-on-year last quarter and led to a massive inventory stockpile. Asusek stock tumbled 7.09 percent to NT$262 yesterday as the disappointing earnings report triggered a sell-off, bringing the its price to a level not seen since Jan. 7 last year. Asustek said net profit plummeted to NT$1.89 billion (US$63.06 million) during the quarter ending June 30, compared with NT$11.37 billion in the second quarter last year. That was a quarterly decline of 82 percent from NT$10.43 billion. Earnings per share dipped to NT$2.6 last quarter, compared with NT$15.3 a year earlier and NT$14.0 a quarter earlier. The company attributed the net profit reduction to supply chain turmoil, logistics snarls, international COVID-19 restrictions, global economic headwinds and surging inflation, which depressed PC demand and shipments. Operating profit margin dropped to its lowest level in about 20 years at 1.7 percent last quarter, from 11.2 percent in the second quarter of last year and 7.9 percent in the first quarter of this year. Foreign exchange losses reached NT$699 million, also a drag on performance. Asustek set an aggressive target to boost its operating profit margin to between 3 and 4 percent this quarter and next year, Asustek co-CEO Samsun Hu (胡書賓) told investors during an online conference on Thursday. “The second quarter should be the trough of this year,” Hu said. The company also aims to cut NT$50 billion of inventory from an accumulation of NT$206 billion as of June 30, after surging 59 percent from a year earlier. About half of the inventory comprises high-priced chips, panels and memory modules, it said. Asustek aims to grow PC shipments at a quarterly pace of 15 to 20 percent
POSITIVE CULTURE: Pursuing 12-inch wafers earlier than peers helped TSMC lead the industry, said a former executive, whose main regret was working for SMIC in China
Corporate culture at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is what made the chipmaker a leading player in the global industry, a former executive said in an interview with California’s Computer History Museum. “One of the really important reasons that TSMC succeeded” is the culture at the firm, where “if equipment went down at two o’clock in the morning, we just called an equipment engineer,” and the worker would not complain, said former TSMC joint chief operating officer Chiang Shan-yi (蔣尚義). “We didn’t really do anything special, anything great, but we didn’t make any major mistakes,” when compared with competitors, such as United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) in Taiwan and Intel Corp, Chiang told the museum in March for its oral history project. Chiang retired from the chipmaker in 2013. Another reason for TSMC’s success was the decision to pivot to developing and manufacturing 12-inch wafers, when Intel and Samsung were focusing on 18-inch wafers in 2013, he said. TSMC had talks with European chip equipment supplier ASML, whose priority at the time was advanced technology, he said, adding that the industry was “hot for 450mm wafers,” which TSMC was not pursuing. However, ASML did not care whether “wafers [were] bigger or smaller,” as there was no cost saving, he said. Chiang called his decision in 2016 to join Chinese chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯) “a mistake” and “foolish.” “Before that, I had a pretty good image in Taiwan. That really hurt my image a lot. I didn’t expect that,” Chiang said. Chiang said he asked TSMC founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) before taking the offer to become an independent member of the SMIC board of directors in 2016, and received his approval. “You do something right, you do something foolish in your life. It was one of the foolish things I’ve done,” said Chiang, who now lives
MSCI Inc, a global index provider, has cut Taiwan’s weighting in two of its major indices while raising it in a third index after a quarterly review. Taiwan’s weighting in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which is closely watched by foreign institutional investors, has been cut by 0.07 percentage points to 14.75 percent, it said in a statement yesterday. It was the steepest cut among the emerging markets in that index, and Taiwan’s weighting in the MSCI All-Country Asia ex-Japan Index was also lowered, to 16.48 percent from 16.56 percent. However, the index provider raised Taiwan’s weighting slightly in the MSCI All-Country World Index, to 1.66 percent from 1.65 percent. After the quarterly index review, no Taiwanese stocks were added to or removed from the MSCI Global Standard or Global Small Cap indices, it said. In the Asia-Pacific region, only stocks in China, South Korea and Thailand were added to or removed from the MSCI Global Standard and Global Small Cap indices, it said. China saw the biggest hike in weighting in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, with a 0.27 percentage point raise, followed by Qatar with an increase of 0.03 percentage points. In the MSCI Taiwan Index, the number of constituents remained at 87 after the quarterly adjustments. Before the latest adjustments were announced, market analysts had forecast that some biotech and old economy stocks in Taiwan would have been added into the MSCI Taiwan Index, given their recent gains. Meanwhile, high-speed transmission stocks and semiconductor stocks were expected to be removed, as rising interest rates had dwarfed their dividend yields, pushing their shares lower. MSCI said it adjusted the weighting of 19 stocks in the MSCI Taiwan Index, with China Airlines (華航) seeing the biggest rise of 0.01 percentage points, while metal casing supplier Catcher Technology Co (可成科技) had the steepest cut of 0.02 percentage points. The index
Judges taste and record the quality of coffee beans on the second and final day of the second annual Taitung Specialty Coffee Evaluation in Taitung yesterday. The Taitung County Government and a local farmers’ association launched the contest last year to promote coffee grown in the area. The winners will participate in the Taiwan International Coffee Exhibition in Taipei from Nov. 18 to 21.
NT$200M SUBSIDY PLAN: The program seeks to help market local firms’ products in 13 countries other than China, which imposed import bans, the economics ministry said
The Ministry of Economic Affairs is planning to allocate NT$200 million (US$6.7 million) to help local food producers expand their overseas footprint, including in Asia and North America, to help them mitigate the impact of China’s import bans. The subsidy program, dubbed “Taiwan Food Go to the World,” would provide guidance to food producers on marketing and finance to help them overcome difficulties due to import bans China imposed on Taiwanese food brands on Monday last week, the ministry said yesterday. China is the third-largest export destination for local processed food companies, accounting for 20 percent of Taiwan’s overall processed food exports, the ministry said. The ministry is in talks with Redmart, Singapore’s biggest online grocery store, and Japanese online retailier Rakuten to sell Taiwanese food products, it said, adding that it hopes the initiative would give producers a boost as early as October. The Council of Agriculture on Tuesday last week said the blacklisted companies include producers of tea leaves, dried fruits, honey, cocoa beans and vegetables, as well as the catches from about 700 Taiwanese fishing vessels. China said the suspension was related to the companies’ compliance with a new customs registration system that it introduced in April last year. However, several Taiwanese companies whose registrations on the system are up to date were also affected by the ban. The government is promoting the sale of processed Taiwanese food products and agricultural products to other markets to help producers overcome the China trade challenges, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) told reporters. The government would help manufacturers market their products mainly in 13 countries, including Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, the US and Vietnam, she said. Companies that market their products on foreign Web sites would receive a subsidy of NT$100,000 and those that hold promotion activities can apply for a subsidy of NT$200,000
Yageo Corp (國巨) yesterday said that its revenue would drop by a low single-digit percentage this quarter from a historical high last quarter, as customers and distributors are holding back demand to concentrate on inventory digestion due to flagging smartphone and notebook computer demand. The world’s biggest supplier of passive components expects to take three to six months to reduce its inventory of commoditized passive components to a normal level of 100 to 110 days, from 130 days currently. Yageo would reduce its factory utilization rate for standard passive components to about 60 percent this quarter, from about 70 percent last quarter, to reach its inventory goal by the end of this year or in the first quarter of next year, it said. Passive components such as resistors, capacitors and inductors are integral parts of a motherboard. “The second half of the year should continue to be challenging. The inventory situation has not really improved. The standard segment continues to weigh on operations,” Yageo chief financial officer Eddie Chen (陳彥松) told investors. “The book-to-bill ratio for premium products stands at about one, but below one for standard products” On the bright side, Yageo still sees solid demand for premium passive components used in automotive, industrial and networking devices, leading to high utilization of those product lines at 90 to 100 percent, Chen said. Those premium passive components accounted for 75 percent of Yageo’s revenue last quarter. Gross margin would this quarter slide to a level similar to the first quarter at 38.1 percent, compared with 38.8 percent in the April-to-June period, Chen said. Operating profit margin would also be similar to the first quarter at 24.8 percent, a slight decline from 25.2 percent last quarter, he said. Yageo attributed the stable margins to its persistent efforts to broaden its product portfolio over the past few quarters.
RECOVERY: Operators of chain restaurants profited from a travel subsidy and increased confidence of their customers despite high COVID-19 case figures
Domestic restaurant chains’ revenues last month grew by double-digit percentages from a year earlier, as the negative economic effects of a COVID-19 outbreak decreased significantly. Kaohsiung-based Hi-Lai Foods Co Ltd (漢來美食), which operates buffet restaurant brand Hilai Restaurant (漢來海港餐廳), Hi-Lai Vegetarian Restaurant (漢來蔬食), luxury Chinese restaurant Celebrity Cuisine (名人坊) and other brands, posted NT$305 million (US$10.19 million) in revenue for last month, up 59.77 percent from a month earlier and nearly 4.75 times from a year earlier. A steady drop in COVID-19 cases allowed people to resume consumption activity, and the government easing COVID-19 pandemic control measures ameliorated fears over gathering in public. The restaurant operator said it expects a further rise in business this month, as summer vacation and Father’s Day celebrations should boost food and beverage sales, it said. Tofu Restaurant Co (豆府), which operates Korean restaurants under multiple brands, also benefited, and its revenue last month more than doubled from a year earlier to NT$238 million. The firm’s figures returned to pre-pandemic levels and its summer operations should shore up revenue further, Tofu said. Kura Sushi Asia Co Ltd (亞洲藏壽司), a Taiwanese subsidiary of Japanese sushi chain Kura Sushi Inc, reported NT$400 million in revenue last month, up nearly 10 times from a year earlier when a level 3 COVID-19 alert kept most people home. The growth was the result of a surge in student customers over the summer vacation, the chain said. Its dining business picked up substantially after the government introduced a travel subsidy to stimulate private consumption despite new COVID-19 cases hovering above 20,000 per day, it said. Thai restaurant chain operator Tai Tong Food & Beverage Group (瓦城泰統集團) said it benefited from the hot summer season, as spicy and sour dishes help boost appetite. Revenue last month rose by 96.86 percent to NT$430 million, the highest since the start of the pandemic, it
Hua Nan Financial Holding Co (華南金控) is seeking stable profit recovery for the rest of this year after net income in the first six months declined 14 percent from a year earlier amid drastic financial market volatility, the state-run conglomerate said yesterday. Hua Nan said it would turn conservative about investment and stay on the sidelines to see how inflation and geopolitical tensions pan out. Financial market volatility caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, inflation and interest rate hikes squeezed profitability at the group, Hua Nan president Robert Li (李耀卿) told an online investors’ conference. Net income for the first half was NT$7.99 billion (US$266.85 million), down 14 percent from last year, company data showed. Earnings per share were NT$0.61, the data showed. “Downside risks will linger throughout the year, and we will make sure all subsidiaries take precautions to strengthen proficiency and meet the annual budget goal,” Li said. Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行), the group’s main banking subsidiary, posted a 1.6 percent profit drop for the first half, as interest income gained 20 percent, but fee income rose just 0.3 percent, it said. The lender said the US Federal Reserve would likely raise policy rates by 3.25 percent this year, while the central bank in Taipei would hike interest rates by 0.625 percent to fight inflation. That scenario would lead to Hua Nan Financial’s interest spread increasing 10 basis points, generating an extra NT$1.58 billion in interest income, which would help the conglomerate meet its net interest income target, Hua Nan officials said. However, returns from stock and bond holdings might be lower than expected, as monetary tightening could drain liquidity, they said. Against that backdrop, Hua Nan Financial would adopt a conservative investment approach, and trim bond and stock positions this month and next month to avoid volatility from negatively affecting its bottom line and net worth,
The Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) yesterday said it would relax the qualification criteria for investors seeking to invest on the Taiwan Innovation Board (TIB) to expand the fund pool, adding that the move would heed calls by companies seeking to list their shares on the board. The new criteria would allow investments from people and institutions with a financial abilities of more than NT$5 million (US$166,990), compared with a net worth of more than NT$10 million that was previously required. Estimating an investor’s net worth — the value of their assets minus their liabilities — can be complex and time-consuming, so the bourse is to use their financial ability as the main gauge instead, TWSE spokeswoman Rebecca Chen (陳麗卿) told the Taipei Times by telephone. It is easier to decide whether an investor is financially trustworthy based on their bank deposits, the market value of their stock portfolio and property, Chen said. Local securities companies are familiar with verifying people’s financial ability, she added. “Our previous qualifications for investors in the TIB were stricter than those for investors in stock boards targeting start-ups in other markets. So even though we lowered the requirements, they are not loose,” Chen said. The TWSE made the change to satisfy corporate needs, as many firms that seek a TIB listing told the exchange that they hope more investors could trade TIB shares, Chen said. However, the exchange did not estimate how many investors would start trading TIB shares after the revision. Institutional investors with more than two years of experience in stock trading would also be allowed to trade TIB shares, the TWSE said, adding that it previously had higher criteria to determine whether they are professional traders. About 90,000 investors were eligible for TIB trading as of the end of March, up 34 percent from the end of last year, and
New Taipei City was the most popular destination for relocation among the six special municipalities in the first half of this year, when 46,000 people moved to the city, Great Home Realty Co (大家房屋) said on Tuesday, citing government data. A total of 659,000 people changed their address nationwide, and New Taipei City stood out as the top choice, compared with Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, Great Home Realty head researcher Mandy Lang (郎美囡) said. Lang attributed the trend to relatively affordable housing prices and better job opportunity outlook in New Taipei City. Living in New Taipei City is cheaper than in Taipei, but it is similarly convenient in terms of public transportation and other infrastructure, Lang said. Communiting to work in Taipei is feasible for residents of New Taipei City and Taoyuan, thanks to the MRT railway serving metropolitan Taipei, she said. Lang said Tainan and Kaohsiung are expected to become the next trending destinations for relocation, as the two cities have attracted investment plans from major local tech firms. Property funds have flowed to Tainan and Kaohsiung in the past few years and housing prices have picked up significantly, Lang said. However, the majority of relocations took place within the same county or city, as people avoid drastic changes, she said. H&B Realty Co (住商不動產) said relocation numbers might rise in the run-up to local elections in November, a trend seen ahead of past elections. People must live in a certain district for at least four months before they can vote there, H&B head researcher Jessica Hsu (徐佳馨) said. Otherwise, job and education concerns dominate relocation decisions, Hsu said.
A woman takes a photograph of a toy cat named A-ma during the Creative Expo Taiwan in Kaohsiung yesterday. The annual expo is held at the Kaohsiung Music Center and Kaohsiung Exhibition Center, and runs through Sunday.
MAJOR REVENUE CONTRIBUTOR: The company said that it expects revenue this year to increase annually due to an improved smart consumer electronics outlook
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) yesterday said revenue this quarter would be flat from last quarter, despite new phone models launched by key customers, as the market faces weakening demand. The iPhone assembler, based in New Taipei City’s Tucheng District (土城), said it is cautious about its business outlook, given mounting uncertainty regarding geopolitical tensions, soaring inflation and COVID-19 flare-ups, but still expects revenue this quarter to be higher than the NT$1.4 trillion (US$46.67 billion) it reported a year earlier. The forecast came as the company posted record second-quarter net profit of NT$33.29 billion, up 12 percent year-on-year from NT$29.78 billion. Revenue last quarter expanded 12 percent to NT$1.51 trillion, defying the effects of China’s COVID-19 lockdowns and supply chain constraints. Earnings per share rose to NT$2.4 last quarter, up from NT$2.15 a year earlier and NT$2.12 a quarter earlier. Gross margin rose to 6.4 percent last quarter, compared with 6.02 percent in the first quarter and 6.03 percent in the second quarter last year. Hon Hai expects gross margin to trend up further in the second half of this year. With clearer visibility for the remainder of this year, Hon Hai expects revenue this year to increase from last year, rather than the flat performance it forecast in May. “An upgraded smart consumer electronics outlook is the main reason driving the upgrade for our full-year revenue outlook,” Hon Hai chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) told an online investors’ conference. Smart consumer electronics, smartphones primarily, are Hon Hai’s largest revenue contributor. This year, revenue from cloud-based network devices and computing products would grow from last year, the company said. “Although there is concern about data center demand lately, our customers still show rising demand for servers, especially from cloud service providers. This segment remains the most promising area this year,” Liu said. “We expect double-digit percentage growth this year
LONG-TERM DISPUTE: The two parties have reached an agreement after Taishin in 2014 alleged the ministry had broken a contract regarding board seats at Chang Hwa Bank
Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控) has settled a dispute with the Ministry of Finance over the management rights in Chang Hwa Bank (CHB, 彰化銀行) and withdrawn its Supreme Court case against the ministry, the company said yesterday. “We have filed a notice of withdrawal with the Supreme Court, after the ministry and Taishin obtained a satisfactory consensus thanks to the coordination of the Supreme Court judges and mediators,” Taishin Financial president Welch Lin (林維俊) told a news conference at the Taiwan Stock Exchange in Taipei. The dispute began when Taishin Financial filed a lawsuit against the ministry in December 2014, alleging that it had broken a contract they signed in 2005 about the allocation of board seats at the bank. In 2005, Taishin Financial secured a 22.5 percent stake from the ministry in then-financially strained CHB for NT$36.5 billion (US$1.22 billion at the current exchange rate) and gained a majority on the bank’s board. However, when the ministry gained a majority on CHB’s board in December 2014, Taishin accused it of breaking its 2005 promise to help Taishin obtain the majority control of the bank. Taishin had sought NT$10 billion in damage for losses, saying it would not be able to consolidate CHB as a subsidiary because it had lost most of its seats in the state-run bank. In a joint statement released yesterday, Taishin Financial and the ministry said that to ensure both parties benefit, they would encourage collaboration among their subsidiaries and financial agencies, adding that they are optimistic about cooperation plans. “The [Ministry of Finance] recognizes Taishin Financial’s contributions through its management team to improving CHB’s performance, strengthening the bank’s corporate governance and boosting profits for shareholders during the nine years (from 2005 to 2014),” the statement said. Taishin Financial’s capital injection of NT$36.5 billion into CHB in 2005 enabled the
The number of workers hired by the industrial and service sectors grew slightly in June as the number of COVID-19 cases fell, but year-to-date take-home pay remained in negative territory after inflation, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday. Average take-home pay rose 4.03 percent from a year earlier to NT$44,324 per month, while total wages — including overtime compensation, commission and bonuses — increased 3.59 percent to NT$53,068, data from the statistics agency showed. The pace at which the average monthly wage has grown has exceeded 2 percent for nine straight months, reflecting improving corporate profitability, DGBAS Census Department Deputy Director Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣) said. Headline take-home pay in the first six months of the year climbed by a 22-year record of 3.02 percent to NT$44,262, but contracted 0.11 percent from a year earlier after an inflation rate of 3.13 percent was factored in for the period, Chen said. A global economic recovery, and spiking energy and raw material prices have pushed consumer prices above 3 percent since March and wiped out real wage growth, she said. The pace of the retreat is the second-worst recorded after 2.86 percent at the height of the global financial crisis in 2009, Chen said. However, it has shown signs that it could be decelerating, as it dropped 0.2 percent from a month earlier after international crude prices lost some momentum amid rising economic uncertainty, she added. Altogether, Taiwan has witnessed nine periods of negative wage growth in the past 21 years, Chen said. While inflation ate away at wages, the latest payroll data showed that the job market is gradually emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, she said. The accession rate — the number of new employees added to payrolls — was 2.34 percent, rising 0.18 percentage points from a month earlier as businesses regained some confidence, the DGBAS
The nation’s tax revenue last month jumped 22 percent year-on-year to NT$692.3 billion (US$23.08 billion), due to substantial gains in revenue generated from corporate and personal income taxes which more than offset retreats in revenue received from commodity tax, as well as stock and property transaction taxes, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday. Corporate income tax revenue spiked 36.6 percent annually to NT$315 billion, as major Taiwanese companies reported an increase in earnings, the ministry said. Similarly, personal income tax revenue soared 37.6 percent to NT$214.7 billion, thanks to wage increases, the distribution of cash dividends by local listed firms and capital gains attributable to property transactions, Department of Statistics Deputy Director-General Chen Yu-feng (陳玉豐) said. By contrast, securities transaction tax revenue, a key tax revenue driver in the past two years, plunged 58.3 percent annually to NT$14.2 billion, after daily stock turnover shrank from NT$652.3 billion to NT$271.3 billion, Chen said. The stock market rout induced by global monetary tightening and economic uncertainty drove investors to the sidelines, analysts said. The year-on-year decline in securities transaction tax revenue is likely to persist throughout this year, in the absence of liquidity-backed rallies. Revenue from land value tax stood at NT$6.4 billion, slumping 29.9 percent from the same period a year earlier, as taxable cases fell 7.5 percent to 42,062 deals, ministry data showed. At the same time, business tax revenue grew 11.3 percent to NT$97.7 billion, while entertainment tax revenue increased by more than 15-fold to NT$120 million, as people began to resume recreational activities as the COVID-19 situation eased, the ministry said. In the first seven months of this year, the ministry collected NT$2.95 trillion in tax revenue, up 16.2 percent from the same period last year and ahead of its budget schedule for the year by 23.9 percent.
MARKETING DRIVE: The company attributed the growth to its close work with insurers and banks, and more merchants accepting Line Pay
Line Pay Taiwan Ltd (連加網路商業) yesterday reported that the number of transactions and the total value of transactions each rose 70 percent year-on-year to 160 million and NT$74.6 billion (US$2.47 billion) respectively in the first half of this year. The number of transactions included those from the company’s mobile payment product Line Pay, which links customers’ credit cards with the electronic payment service, and its iPass Money service, which connects with customers’ bank accounts. Line Pay did not disclose a breakdown of the transactions differentiating the two products, both of which can be accessed through the messaging app of its affiliate Line Taiwan Ltd (台灣連線). The company attributed the growth in transactions to more merchants accepting Line Pay as well as the company’s close collaboration with banks and insurers. A series of marketing activities in the first half of the year also helped boost the services’ profile, the company said in a statement. From breakfast vendors to restaurants in local night markets, more than 400,000 merchants accept Line Pay, the company said. Meanwhile, by partnering with 14 insurance companies and 15 banks, the company said that consumers are able to buy insurance policies directly through its mobile payment tool and apply for loans through its banking platform.
Taiwanese entertainer Shiny Chang introduces plates of Taiwanese popcorn chicken in a handout image from the Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau. The Kaohsiung City Government yesterday said that the Kaohsiung Popcorn Chicken Festival is to take place at the plaza in front of Mega Far Eastern Department Store in the city’s Lingya District on Aug. 27 and 28. With more than 100 booths for popcorn chicken shops from across Taiwan, the city government expects the event to attract more tourists to Kaohsiung before the summer break ends.
DISMAL OUTLOOK: A Citigroup analyst predicted firms face ‘the worst semiconductor downturn in at least a decade,’ due to inventory build and the potential of a recession
Semiconductor stocks tumbled after Micron Technology Inc became the latest chipmaker to warn about slowing demand, triggering concern that the industry is heading into a painful downturn. In the US on Tuesday, the Philadelphia semiconductor index sank 4.6 percent, with all 30 members in the red, its biggest drop in about two months. In Asia, chip stocks from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to Samsung Electronics Co, SK Hynix Inc and Tokyo Electron Ltd slumped. Investors are growing increasingly skittish as the notoriously cyclical industry is hurtling toward a prolonged slump after years of widespread shortages that led to heavy investments in capacity. “We continue to believe we are entering the worst semiconductor downturn in at least a decade, and possibly since 2001 given the expectation of a recession and inventory build,” Citigroup Inc analyst Christopher Danely said in a report. “We expect every company in our coverage universe and every end market to experience a correction.” The warning from Micron came after disappointing results from Nvidia Corp, Intel Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Highlighting the speed with which demand is evaporating, Micron said orders have deteriorated since the company last gave an update just more than a month ago. While the PC market had already been in a slump, the weakness in demand is now spreading widely. “Compared to our last earnings call, we see further weakening in demand because of adjustments broadening outside of just consumers to other parts of the market including data centers, industrial and automotive,” Micron chief executive officer Sanjay Mehrotra said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. During the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers stocked up on smartphones and computers as they worked and studied from home. Corporations poured money into technology, too, especially data centers that could be used to enable remote workers. The average wait times for semiconductors