Wed, May 28, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

Core Pacific City Mall stays open

The Core Pacific City Mall (京華城) which shut down its parking lot for disinfection last Friday has no plan to close the center for further disinfection, the mall's spokesman Juan Hsin-nang (阮信囊) said.

Juan made the remark yesterday after one of their employees working at the lower-level parking lot was found to be a reported SARS case yesterday.

The employee came down with a fever on May 23 and was transferred to Chun-Hsin Municipal Hospital (中興醫院), where he was diagnosed with pneumonia unrelated to SARS, Juan said.

"Since the employee working in the parking lot has no direct contact with customers, we don't think the plan to shut down the whole mall for disinfection is necessary," Juan said.

First Financial seeks OK for sale

First Financial Holding Co (第一金控), the owner of the nation's's fourth-largest bank by assets, applied last week to sell as many as 1 billion new shares. It hired Deutsche Bank AG as the sale's co-manager, alongside Citigroup Inc.

The sale represents more than a quarter of its outstanding shares. The company told shareholders on May 16 it plans to use the proceeds to boost capital in First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) by NT$17.5 billion (US$504 million) after the unit wrote off more than NT$70 billion of bad loans last year.

First Financial plans to raise about US$600 million selling shares to overseas investors to boost capital and fund investments.

Realtek plans to buy Ayuttha

Realtek Semiconductor Corp (瑞昱半導體), which designs chips that control flat-panel displays used in personal computers, plans to buy closely held Ayuttha Technology Corp (優訊科技) to enter the wall-mounted television business, a Chinese-language newspaper reported.

The company plans to buy all shares of Ayuttha, which designs chips for flat-panel TVs, for NT$250 million (US$7.2 million), the newspaper said. The plan is in the final stage, and an unidentified bank has been appointed to help arrange the transaction, the paper said.

Motorola boosts orders

Motorola Inc, the world's second-largest mobile-phone maker, has increased orders with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC,台積電), DigiTimes said on its Web site, without citing the source of its information.

Motorola placed more orders with TSMC, the world's largest supplier of made-to-order chips, for so-called micro-controllers, processors used in electronic products such as hand-held computers and mobile phones, the report said.

The new orders will lift TSMC's oldest plant, called Fab 2, to full utilization, the report said. Fab 2 accounts for about a fifth of TSMC's total production capacity, according to the company's first-quarter earnings report.

Labor dispute rocks Evergreen

Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運), the world's fourth-largest shipping company by container capacity, is losing more than US$100,000 a day because five of its ships are locked in East Coast ports in the US following labor disputes, the South China Morning Post said.

The dispute started last year when Evergreen America, the US unit of the company, prevented Taiwanese at its ship-planning division from joining the International Longshore and Warehouse Union on the West Coast in the US, the newspaper said.

NT dollar falls

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday remained weak against its US counterpart, dropping NT$0.003 to close at NT$34.712 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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