Thu, May 08, 2003 - Page 11 News List

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STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

SECMEX postponed

The second Semiconductor Equip-ment/Component/Materials Expo-sition Taiwan, or SECMEX Taiwan 2003, will be postponed two months later due the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the event organizer said yesterday.

The four-day event, organized by the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association (TSIA, 台灣半導體協會) will be rescheduled for July 16 to 19 at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall.

The event was originally set to kick off May 16, said Lee Yin-lung (李英龍), a TSIA manager.

"There are some 70 companies registering to occupy 120 booths in the show," Lee said. "But we decided to delay the show until the SARS fears are cleared."

Last year almost 50 companies took up 100 booths at SECMEX.

CPC to report on refinery move

The Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油) is slated to present a preliminary assessment report to the Ministry of Economic Affairs tomorrow about plans to relocate its Taoyuan refinery because of public safety concerns, ministry spokesman Berton Chiu (邱柏青) announced yesterday.

The state-run oil refiner has surveyed about four possible sites north of Hsinchu and will come up with a comprehensive plan within one year, Chiu said.

He said the company would not going to specify where or when the plant will be moved in the preliminary report.

Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Yi-fu (林義夫) agreed in early February to the refinery's relocation after an equipment explosion at the refinery in late January drew strong protests from nearby residents.

AU Optronics quarantines 20

AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the world's fourth-largest maker of flat-panel displays used in electronic products, quarantined 20 administrative employees at a plant, where one of its office workers had a fever, a local newspaper reported yesterday, citing the company.

AU Optronics reported the employee at the plant in Taoyuan had a fever of 38?C on May 2.

The company told the employee to stay home in quarantine and said its manufacturing, sales, orders and shipments haven't been affected.

Doctors haven't determined whether the employee has SARS.

CKS numbers drop

With the SARS outbreak escalating in Taiwan, the numbers of inbound and outbound passengers at CKS International Airport dropped to new lows on Tuesday.

According to official tallies, there were only 4,118 arrivals and 5,335 departing passengers on Tuesday -- the lowest in the airport's 24-year history.

Since the beginning of the month, the total daily number of departing and arriving passengers at the airport has continued declining significantly, with the number falling below 10,000 on four days.

Before the SARS outbreak hit the nation in mid-March, the cumulative number of inbound and outbound passengers reached an average of 50,000 per day.

NT dollar rises

The NT dollar yesterday had its highest close in almost two months against its US counterpart after the Federal Reserve signaled it may cut interest rates, sapping the US dollar's appeal.

"The Fed said economic risks in the US still exist, so the dollar weakened globally," benefiting the New Taiwan dollar, said Elaina Chang, a currency trader at Grand Commercial Bank (萬通銀行).

The local currency gained NT$0.033, or 0.1 percent, to NT$34.712 against the greenback on the Taipei foreign exchange market, its highest since March 17. Turnover was US$370.5 million.

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