Sat, May 17, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business briefs

Macronix to sell new shares

Macronix International (旺宏電子), the nation's largest maker of memory chips for electronic games, said its board has approved a plan to sell 1 billion new shares to help fund expansion and pay debt.

The sale, which will increase Macronix's shares outstanding by more than a quarter, would raise NT$5.5 billion (US$159 million) based on yesterday's closing price of NT$5.50.

The company may sell the shares on overseas or domestic markets or in a private placement, it said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

The company, whose largest customer is Japan's Nintendo Co, said its first-quarter loss widened to NT$3.21 billion from NT$2.7 billion a year ago, and it expects a loss of NT$7.8 billion for this year.

SARS on ASEAN meeting agenda

The impact of SARS on regional and global trade will be high on the agenda of an upcoming meeting of trade ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) said yesterday.

Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Yi-fu (林義夫) will head the government's delegation to attend the annual meeting slated for June 2 to June 3 in Thailand. The delegation is scheduled to leave Taipei on May 31 and return June 4.

On the sidelines of the multilateral APEC conference, Lin will hold bilateral trade consultations with his counterparts from 10 other member economies, Yiin said. Lin will also discuss with the Chinese chief delegate the possible SARS fallout on cross-strait trade and investment, Yiin added.

Dragon Airlines restores routes

Dragon Airlines Ltd, the smaller of Hong Kong's two carriers, is restoring flights to parts of China, Taiwan, Thailand and other areas and adding new flights as the SARS outbreak starts to ease, the South China Morning Post said, citing chief executive Stanley Hui (許漢忠).

"In recent weeks, our Phuket services have been good for passenger numbers," Hui was quoted as saying. "I think it's a good indication of pent-up demand for holiday travel."

Dragonair will reintroduce three flights a week to Kota Kinabalu, and increase its Phuket service to four flights a week from three, the newspaper reported. Services to Dhaka will double to four flights a week. Flights to cities in Taiwan and China will be added, the Post said.

TSMC could lose orders to IBM

International Business Machines Corp may win extra orders to make networking chips for Broadcom Corp as it wrests more business from rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC, 台積電), BusinessWeek reported, citing unidentified sources.

IBM, which has spent US$3 billion on a new semiconductor plant in the US, is ``close'' to securing a major contract with Broadcom, BusinessWeek said in a preview of this week's issue.

Broadcom, a TSMC customer, is the world's biggest designer of cable-modem chips.

In March, IBM won a multiyear contract to make a new graphics chip for Nvidia Corp. TSMC, the world's biggest supplier of made-to-order chips, previously was the sole manufacturer for Nvidia, the world's largest designer of graphics chips for personal computers and Microsoft Corp's Xbox video-game console.

NT dollar declines

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded lower against its US counterpart on concern that SARS will slow consumption and hamper the nation's economic expansion, snap-ping a two-day rally.

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