China-bound investment rises \n \nThe government has approved a total of 1,092 applications for China-bound investment worth US$2.54 billion in the first seven months of the year, up 31 percent from a year earlier, the Investment Commission said yesterday in a statement. \nThe electronics and electrical sector accounted for 23.89 percent of the applications while 9.93 percent were for the base metal sector, the commission said. Chemicals accounted for 8.35 percent and the precision machinery sector 6.51 percent. Almost half of the investments, 44 percent, are intended for Jiangsu Province. \nIn the seven-month period, the commission approved 455 non-China bound investment applications worth US$1.95 billion, up 6.51 percent from the same period last year. The commission approved 601 inbound investment applications during the same period worth US$1.51 billion, down 17.67 percent year-on-year, it said. \nCurrent account surplus grows \n \nThe nation's current-account surplus widened in the second quarter as investment income rose and fewer people traveled overseas during the SARS outbreak. \nThe surplus widened to US$6.58 billion from US$5.79 billion a year earlier, the central bank said in a statement. \nThe income surplus increased to US$2.4 billion from US$1.59 billion, the bank said. The deficit on the services account narrowed to US$859 million from US$1.11 billion. \nThe trade surplus narrowed to US$5.68 billion from US$5.95 billion. Taiwan's financial account turned to a deficit of US$2.09 billion from a surplus of US$10.9 billion as fund managers in the country invested more money in foreign stocks and bonds, the bank said. \nGrowth forecasted for chips \n \nThe worldwide semiconductor market will grow 11.2 percent this year compared to last year due to increasing demand, US-based research firm Gartner Inc predicted on Tuesday. \nLast year the global semiconductor industry made US$156 billion in sales revenue. Gartner forecast Tuesday that the figure will reach US$173 billion this year. \n"Noteworthy improvements in market conditions during the last few weeks confirm that the industry is continuing its recovery as expected and is about to enter a more accelerated growth phase," said Richard Gordon, vice president for Gartner's semiconductor research group, in a statement. \n"While many industry watchers have been revising down their forecasts recently, we have been predicting growth of around 10 percent for 2003 since the fourth quarter of last year," he said. \nChinatrust sets swap offer \n \nChinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) is offering shareholders 0.633 preference shares and 0.254 common shares for each Grand Commercial Bank (萬通銀行) share in its attempted takeover of the lender controlled by the nation's largest food company. \nGrand Commercial will issue 407.5 million new shares to facilitate the offer, Michael Jong (鍾隆吉), vice chairman of the financial arm of the Koos Group (和信集團), said after a shareholder meeting yesterday. \nNT dollar hits one-year high \n \nThe NT dollar had its highest close in almost a year yesterday on trader expectations of growing currency demand by overseas investors. \nThe NT dollar gained 0.2 percent to NT$34.298 against its US counterpart, its strongest close since Sept. 9 last year. Turnover was US$615 million. \nInternational fund managers on Tuesday purchased a net NT$11.6 billion (US$338 million) of Taiwanese stocks, the most since May 29, according to Bloomberg data.
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a
Taipei 101, one of the nation’s leading shopping centers, is planning to reduce its business hours due to decreased demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Taipei 101 is to open daily at noon and close at 9pm from April 6, building management said in a statement on Monday. The shopping center has been opening at 11am and closing at 9:30pm from Sunday to Thursday, while closing at 10pm on Friday and Saturday. The restaurants in the food court — on the basement level — would adjust their business hours as necessary, but the supermarket would continue to open at 9am daily, management said. The shopping