Wed, Nov 05, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

ATMs set for IC makeover

Banks have agreed to accelerate a plan to replace magnetic-strip automatic-teller-machine (ATM) cards with safer IC cards ahead of schedule, the Bankers Association (銀行公會) said yesterday.

The nation's 17,588 ATMs will be completely upgraded to be able to read IC cards before next June, the association's statement read yesterday, adding that 3.5 million of the nation's 60 million magnetic ATM cards will be embedded with multiple encryption systems, which are difficult to forge, before the end of next year.

The cost of IC cards will be lowered from NT$70 to NT$35 each. The association said it is "up to individual banks to decide whether they will charge bank clients."

But Gary Tseng (曾國烈), director-general of the Bureau of Monetary Affairs under the Ministry of Finance, yesterday told reporters that the ministry hopes that banks can take on the cost, putting no burden on cardholders.

New-car sales jump

The nation's new-car sales jumped by 15.3 percent to 37,600 vehicles in October from a year earlier due to an improved economy and the recent replacement season, according to the statistics released by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications on Monday.

For the first 10 months, 345,000 new cars were sold in Taiwan, up 8.3 percent over a year ago, the ministry statistics showed.

Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車) secured the No.1 position by selling 9,441 cars last month. China Motor Co (中華汽車) tracked behind by selling 8,008 cars. Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車) was ranked No. 3 with car sales reaching 6,787 units boosted by sales of its X-Trail recreational vehicles (RV) sales.

Ford Lio Ho Motor Co (福特六和) remained in fourth position with sales of 3,479 units. Prince Motor (太子汽車) beat Mazda Taiwan (馬自達汽車) to grab the No. 5 position due to sales of its compact car Solio.

Silicon to make Xbox chips

Silicon Integrated System Corp (SiS, 矽統科技), the world's third-largest maker of chipsets for personal computers, said it had agreed to develop semiconductors with Microsoft Corp for the US company's Xbox video-game console.

"We will produce a special chipset for the Xbox," said Silicon Integrated spokesman Jason Wu. "We'll probably start shipping the chips next year."

The Silicon Integrated chips will help the Xbox connect to input devices such as joysticks.

UMC approves UK sale

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) said it will allow shareholders to sell in the US a 0.25 percent stake, which has a market value of about NT$1.3 billion (US$38.2 million).

The world's second largest made-to-order chipmaker didn't identify the shareholders or give other details in its statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Any shareholders excluding UMC employees that have a stake of 0.4 percent or larger will be authorized to participate in the sale, company spokesman Alex Hinnawi said. No timetable for the sale has been set, he said.

Firm to build China paper plant

Yuen Foong Yu Paper Manufac-turing Co (永豐餘) plans to spend more than NT$10 billion (US$294 million) to set up an industrial paper factory in China, a Chinese-language newspaper said.

The plant will have annual capacity of 1.1 million tonnes and will help the company tap China's market for industrial paper that's estimated to grow 10 percent annually, the paper said, citing company president Chung Hung-chih (鍾弘治).

NT dollar levels out

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