Tue, Oct 07, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

CPI drops year-on-year

Consumer prices continued to fall last month although the headline rate of deflation eased compared with August, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

Last month's consumer price index fell 0.22 percent year-on-year and was down a seasonally adjusted 0.07 percent from August, when CPI fell 0.59 percent from a year earlier but was up 0.02 month-on-month.

In the nine months to last month, CPI fell 0.31 percent year-on-year.

The wholesale price index rose 0.74 percent from a year earlier but was down a seasonally adjusted 0.53 percent month-on-month, the DGBAS said.

The DGBAS said it is maintaining its earlier forecast of a slight decline in full year CPI and a 0.13 percent year-on-year increase for the three months to December.

"For now, we are keeping our August estimate that 2003 CPI is expected to fall 0.09 pct from a year earlier," DGBAS' statistics bureau director Chen Chang-shang (陳昌雄) said.

He said the recent strengthening in the NT dollar will likely add to the deflationary pressures as it will cut the cost of imports.

VLSI seminar opens

The 2003 International Symposium on VLSI Technology, System and Applications (2003 VLSI-TSA) opened at the Ambassador Hotel in Hsinchu yesterday with the participation of top scientists and engineers in semiconductor industries in Taiwan and abroad.

The symposium, considered one of the three leading conferences of its kind in the world along with the ones held biannually in Japan and the US, serves as a bridge ushering overseas Taiwanese or foreign scientists and specialists into Taiwan to join the lines of semiconductor research and development and manufacturing industry, said an ITRI official who is co-sponsoring the conference.

Today, United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) chairman Robert Tsao (曹興誠), MediaTek Inc (聯發科技) chairman Tsai Ming-chieh (蔡明介) and Chiang Shang-yi (蔣尚義), a senior vice president in research and development at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) will give speeches at the conference.

Trade mission hosts reception

A trade mission led by Tai Chien (戴謙), director of the Tainan Industrial Park Administration, held a reception Sunday in Silicon Valley to encourage US high-tech companies to set up production lines in the park.

At the reception, Tai said that many semiconductor, optoelectronics, biotechnology, communications and precision-machinery companies have established their production facilities in the park.

Both TSMC and UMC have established fabs in the industrial park to produce 12-inch chips, Tai said, adding that all companies of advanced new technologies are welcome to set up factories in the park.

UMC may sell shares in US

UMC said it may sell existing shares worth NT$4.9 billion (US$145 million) in the US. The shares represent a 1 percent stake, the company said in a statement on the Taiwan Stock Exchange Web site, without giving a timetable or reason for the sale.

Shareholders must own at least a 0.04 percent stake to participate in the sale, the company said. Employees won't be allowed to take part, it said.

The government owns a 2.4 percent stake in UMC.

NT dollar dips

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded lower against its US counterpart, dropping NT$0.043 to close at NT$33.810 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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