Thu, May 29, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

Mosel, creditors reach deal

Computer-memory chipmaker Mosel Vitelic Inc (茂矽) reached an agreement with its creditors yesterday to pay back a NT$4.7 billion (US$135.4 million) loan that came due at the end of last month.

Mosel offered to pay 35 percent of the debt, or NT$1.64 billion, in cash by Monday, followed by 10 monthly installments to clear the remaining 65 percent, allowing it to keep ProMOS Technologies Inc (茂德科技) shares pledged as collateral.

Creditors had rejected Mosel's previous offer of a 10-percent cash payment followed by 12 monthly installments, and threatened to sell Mosel's controlling stake in ProMOS, the nation's second-largest memory-chip maker.

IBM now No. 3 chipmaker

International Business Machines Corp (IBM) overtook Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manu-facturing Ltd (特許) last year as the third-largest supplier of made-to-order semiconductors, a market researcher said.

IBM's chip sales were US$760 million last year compared with US$449 million for Chartered, according to Scottsdale, Arizona-based IC Insights.

IBM will probably aim to take more business from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world's largest supplier of made-to-order chips, IC Insights said.

IBM on March 26 said it won a multiyear contract to make Nvidia Corp's latest computer-graphics chip, beating TSMC, previously Nvidia's sole supplier.

Yamaha delays bike launch

Japan's Yamaha Motor Co said yesterday that the company will postpone its release of new motorbikes in Taiwan for two months due to the outbreak of SARS.

Yamaha had originally planned to introduce the new 125cc model, Cygnus X, in this country tomorrow. But Yamaha said the launch will be delayed due to problems found in parts of the model, as well as the SARS outbreak in Taiwan which has prohibited Japanese staff from inspecting the new units. It expects to start selling the model by July 20.

EIU forecasts weakness

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said in a report released on Tuesday that Taiwan's position as a key technology-product exporter makes it vulnerable to the continued weakness of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) economies.

With the weak pace of recovery in the OECD, countries in emerging Asia including Taiwan are relying instead on exports to China and efforts to boost their own domestic demands, the EIU said.

Although Taiwan's economy is growing again after experiencing a sharp recession in 2001, the nation's growth will be subdued until next year, it said.

Taipower delays LPG contract

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) postponed until next month an announcement on the winning bidder to supply it with liquefied-natural gas (LNG) after the outbreak of SARS disrupted meetings with suppliers.

Taipower was due this month to name the winning bidder for a contract to supply 1.7 million tonnes a year of LNG to its planned Tatan power plant.

The utility is negotiating with four companies that are bidding to supply the fuel for 25 years starting in 2008.

Taipower may name the winning bidder in the middle of next month, said media relations officer Lee Chun-lai (李傳來).

NT dollars loses ground

The New Taiwan dollar continued to lose ground against its US counterpart yesterday, falling NT$0.018 to close at NT$34.73 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

Turnover yesterday was US$524.5 million.

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