Chicago Board of Trade membership prices fell to a 16-year low as a plunge in activity on a sister exchange cut demand for seats that confer trading privileges in both markets. \nA full membership at the 154-year-old Board of Trade, which permits trading in all of the exchange's financial and grain contracts, sold for US$241,000 on Wednesday, down 46 percent in the past three months, exchange figures showed. It was the lowest price paid for a seat since May 1986, a spokeswoman said. \nThe slump in prices for board seats, which allow members to also trade at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, reflects a 26 percent decline in activity at the options exchange in April from a year earlier, analysts said. \nBoard seats are losing value because of weaker demand for stock options used to protect portfolios. \n"The problems at the CBOE are having a major impact" on Chicago Board of Trade membership values, said Raymond Cahnman, a CBOT director who trades bond futures. "Our fortunes are tied together." \nAbout 45 percent of CBOT seats are used to trade at the options exchange. \nThe Chicago Board of Trade, the second-largest US futures market, has been introducing new contracts, such as futures tied to interest-rate swaps, and investing in its electronic order-routing system to stem the flow of traders to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and other derivatives markets. \nLast month, the board lowered trading fees as much as 40 percent in its auction-style pits in a bid to boost activity and prop up membership prices, which have lost 72 percent of their value since reaching a record high of US$857,500 in September 1997. \nThe Board of Trade is home to futures and options linked to government debt, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index and farm commodities such as soybean and oats. \nSeat prices are also down at the options exchange, falling 3.3 percent to US$192,500 yesterday from US$199,000 on May 3. CBOE memberships have lost 74 percent of their value since reaching a high of US$735,100 on Feb. 27, 1998, exchange figures showed. \nChicago Board of Trade members have had the right to buy and sell contracts at the options exchange since the CBOE was founded in 1973 by a group of Board of Trade members. The markets are connected by a glass-enclosed walkway across Van Buren Street in Chicago's Loop district. \n"I have talked to the CBOE leadership and I know that the stock-market slowdown has seriously impacted their membership value," Board of Trade Chairman Nickolas Neubauer said in an April 24 address to board members. \nAbout 630 of the board's 1,402 memberships are used to trade at the options exchange, Neubauer said. In December 2000, 700 CBOT memberships were used to access the options exchange. \nTraders bought and sold 21.69 million contract on the options exchange in April, down from 29.45 million in April 2001, exchange figures showed. Average daily volume for the month fell 33 percent from a year earlier to 986,024 contracts from 1.47 million. \nAt the Board of Trade, trading volume rose 18 percent in April from a year earlier to 23.735 million contracts, the board said. For the first four months of the year, trading rose 15 percent from a year ago to 94.97 million contracts. \nThe Board of Trade, founded in 1848 to buy and sell wheat, corn and other agricultural commodities, was surpassed in 2001 as the busiest US futures market by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, home to contracts linked to Eurodollars, the Standard & Poor's 500 index, livestock and milk.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
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Swancor Renewable Energy Co (上緯新能源) yesterday announced plans for a 4.4 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind project off Miaoli County as part of its commitment toward Taiwan’s energy transformation, the company said in a statement. The “Formosa 4” project includes three deep-water wind farms 18km to 20km off the coast, Swancor Renewable CEO Lucas Lin (林雍堯) said, adding that planning for the project began last year. A proposal for Formosa 4 was this week submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company said. Swancor Renewable jointly developed the Formosa 1 project, a 128 megawatt (MW) wind farm about 4km off Miaoli and the