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Asustek, Acer launch Chrome devices

By Lauly Li

Computer suppliers Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) and Acer Inc (宏碁) are deepening their collaboration with Google Inc, with plans to start shipping new Chrome-based computers and devices this quarter. The two Taiwanese firms are some of the global PC brands that have been working withFULL STORY

PMI rises on increase in new orders, production

By Crystal Hsu

The official purchasing managers index (PMI) recovered last month, driven mainly by an increase in new orders and production, the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER, 中華經濟研究院) said yesterday. While holiday distortions lent support, companies in different sectors reported business growth, including exporters of petrochemical products,FULL STORY

Sino-American sees solar business breaking even

By Lisa Wang

Solar wafer maker Sino-American Silicon Products Inc (SAS, 中美矽晶) expects its solar business to break even this year, thanks to rising demand for high-conversion efficiency products for rooftop solar systems, a company executive said yesterday. To mitigate the impact of volatile solar wafer prices, the companyFULL STORY

Discretionary investment policies becoming popular

By Amy Su

The volatility in the global economy over the past few years has made discretionary investment policies a popular target for conservative investors, insurance and investment trust companies said yesterday. Thirty-nine discretionary investment policy products were introduced in Taiwan last year, compared with six in 2007, theFULL STORY

Lens Tech boss China’s richest woman

A former factory worker who founded a company supplying Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics Co and other technological giants with touchscreen glass has become China’s richest woman, reports said, with a fortune surpassing US$8 billion. The wealth of Zhou Qunfei (周群飛), chairwoman and president of Hunan-based LensFULL STORY

LED stocks take tumble as Philips offloads unit

By Lauly Li

LED stocks tumbled yesterday amid investor concern over the potentially negative impact of Royal Philips Electronics NV’s sale of its lighting subsidiary to a Chinese firm. Shares of Epistar Corp (晶元光電), the nation’s top LED chipmaker, plunged 6.94 percent to close at NT$46.9, the lowest levelFULL STORY

Pac-Man chomps through streets on Google Maps

The virtual streets of Google Maps were yesterday transformed into Pac-Man’s chomping grounds in celebration of April Fools’ Day. Google Inc added the option to convert its popular navigation service into the Pac-Man video game yesterday morning, on a day when Google shows off its playfulFULL STORY

La Kaffa allies with US’ F&T and New York Mart

By Amy Su

La Kaffa International Co Ltd (六角國際事業) has formed a strategic alliance with two US-based retail partners — F&T Group and New York Mart Group — in a bid to accelerate its development in the US market. The food and beverage brand operator opened the first USFULL STORY

Taiwan Business Quick Take

CEMENT Producers’ reports mixed Two leading cement producers this week reported mixed earnings results for the final quarter of last year, as Taiwan Cement Corp (台灣水泥) saw its net profit rise 6 percent year-on-year to NT$2.58 billion (US$82.27 million), while Asia Cement Corp (亞洲水泥) reported netFULL STORY

US says yuan not ready for IMF basket

The US feels China’s yuan does not yet meet the standards for inclusion in the IMF’s basket of global currencies, US Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew said on Tuesday. The yuan’s inclusion in the basket, which defines the value of the IMF’s reserve assets, wouldFULL STORY

Malaysia launches new tax despite public unease

Malaysia yesterday implemented a 6 percent consumption tax aimed at plugging a leaky tax system and addressing a widening fiscal deficit that has sparked opposition protests over the past year. The Malaysian government and economists say the goods and services tax (GST) will help address anFULL STORY

Buffett eyes more auto dealerships, talks of Greece exit

Berkshire Hathaway Inc chairman Warren Buffett said the company plans to buy more auto dealerships, regardless of the interest-rate outlook, in part because the price of entry is reasonably predictable. If US Federal Reserve Chair “Janet Yellen came up and whispered into my ear whatFULL STORY

Amazon.com puts household staples on refill button

Amazon.com Inc on Tuesday moved to become an errand service for home staples, introducing a “dash button” to allow consumers to instantly order popular products for the home and kitchen. The move boosts Amazon’s presence for everyday services and goods, and comes a day after theFULL STORY

Central bankers slash euro reserves to 12-year low

Central bankers cut their euro reserve holdings to a 12-year low in the fourth quarter last year, and there may be more to come. The shared currency’s portion of global holdings fell to 22.2 percent in the fourth quarter, the least since June 2002, dataFULL STORY

Chinese crackdown takes a toll on Macau casinos

Macau’s casino revenue fell last month for the 10th straight month as China’s corruption crackdown took a continuing toll on the territory, figures showed yesterday. Macau saw its second-worst monthly decline of 39 percent for March compared with the same month last year as Beijing encouragesFULL STORY

World Business Quick Take

MANUFACTURING Chinese output edges up China’s manufacturing activity expanded last month for the first time since December last year, the government said yesterday, a bright spot as the world’s second-largest economy fights a broad slowdown in growth. The official purchasing managers’ index released by the NationalFULL STORY

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