Wed, May 07, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business briefs

EVA expects 2nd-Qtr sales to fall

EVA Airways Corp. (長榮航空) expects second-quarter sales to fall 4 percent because the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome is putting people off traveling.

The carrier forecasts sales of NT$14.9 billion (US$428.5 million) for the quarter, compared with NT$15.5 billion a year ago, it said in a statement to the Taiwan stock exchange.

"Because of the fall in outbound passengers, particularly for Hong Kong, we have cut flights to lower operating costs," the statement said. EVA has cut capacity by about 10 percent since April because of SARS, said company spokesman Nieh Kuo-wei (聶國維).

Asian carriers have canceled 750 weekly flights since the outbreak of SARS, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines. The world's airlines will have losses of US$10 billion this year as passengers avoid flying because of the disease, the International Air Transport Association said.

Intel mum on Mosel debt

Intel Corp, the world's largest chipmaker, declined to comment on a newspaper report that said it will buy US$30 million of debt from Mosel Vitelic Inc (茂矽電子) to help the Taiwanese maker of computer-memory chips survive.

Mosel has permission from the government's securities authorities to sell US$120 million of debt overseas convertible into the company's shares, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information. Part of the debt will be sold to Intel on condition Mosel pledges its own shares and those in unit ProMOS Technologies Inc. (茂德科技) as collateral, the report said.

"We haven't made any announcement," Intel spokeswoman Josie Taylor said. "We don't comment on speculation."

Taylor said she's checking with officials of Intel Capital, the company's investment organization.

Creditors of Mosel Vitelic yesterday said they would sell part of

its stake in ProMOS Technologies, the nation's second-largest memory-chip maker, after refusing a request to delay payment on NT$4.7 billion (US$135 million) of debt.

ProMOS, Elpida sign chip pact

ProMOS Technologies Inc. (茂德科技), the nation's second-largest memory-chip maker, and Japan's Elpida Memory Inc, a venture between Hitachi Ltd and NEC Corp, said they signed a technology-sharing agreement.

The agreement will allow ProMOS to make products with technology that is more advanced than it is currently using. The partnership is intended to design products with 0.1 micron technology, the companies said in a statement.

Elpida wants to cut capital-investment costs by farming out more production of dynamic random-access memory chips, the main memory in personal computers. It has signed contracts with other chipmakers, including Powerchip Semiconductor Corp and Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.

"This partnership will further increase Elpida's DRAM capacity allowing us to deliver advanced high-quality products to the market quickly," Elpida president Yukio Sakamoto said in a statement.

ProMOS shares rose by the 7 percent daily limit on the TAIEX NT$6.35 at 10am, extending a rebound that began yesterday.

They slumped by more than a quarter in the 11 trading days to May 2 as controlling shareholder Mosel Vitelic Inc (茂矽電子) said it was seeking to renegotiate payment on NT$4.7 billion of bonds that matured on April 25.

NT dollar rises

The new Taiwan dollar rose against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, gaining NT$0.056 to close at NT$34.745.

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