Thu, Nov 13, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

Winbond signs Ericsson deal

Ericsson Technology Licensing AB yesterday signed a Bluetooth license agreement with Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電子), a computer memory-chip maker based in Hsinchu, Ericsson said in a statement.

The license agreement, which covers the Ericsson Core Bluetooth Radios K-D1 and K-E1, enables Winbond to design and manufacture complete Bluetooth solutions together with a proprietary baseband, Sweden's Ericsson said in a statement.

Ericsson, the world's largest maker of wireless networks, hopes the pact will allow Winbond to "penetrate the Taiwanese market with Bluetooth solutions," Maria Khorsand, president of Ecrission Technology Licensing, said in the statement.

Taishin Financial to sell bonds

Taishin Financial Holdings Co (台新金控), the owner of the nation's second-largest credit-card issuer, plans to sell NT$10 billion (US$294 million) of subordinated bonds to local investors to boost its capital adequacy ratio.

"The sale is expected to be done by the end of the year," said Carol Lai (賴昭吟), chief financial officer at Taipei-based Taishin Financial.

Subordinated bonds offer investors less protection against a possible default than regular debt.

Taishin Financial last month said it plans to sell as much as US$300 million of bonds convertible into stock. The proceeds will help redeem 27 million preferred shares held by the group's banking unit when Taishin formed a holding company last year.

Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), which contributes 90 percent of group profit, will write off about NT$1.8 billion of bad loans in the fourth quarter and provision for NT$1.5 billion more, Lai said.

China reports FDI increase

China said yesterday that foreign direct investment totaled US$43.6 billion in the first 10 months of the year, an increase of 5.8 percent from the same period last year.

Although China's Ministry of Commerce provided no data for October alone, it appears there was very little investment coming into China during the month.

In the first nine months of the year, foreign direct investment to China had risen by almost 12 percent.

In comparison, Taiwan received US$2.186 billion worth of foreign direct investment during the first nine months of the year, declining 3.8 percent from a year earlier, according to statistics provided by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

To lure back foreign investors, Taiwan hosted an international business conference last month.

Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Yi-fu (林義夫) said after the conclusion of the four-day meeting that Taiwan had attracted 186 foreign investment projects valued at NT$138.38 billion at that time, exceeding the government's targeted NT$100 billion.

Acer forecasts profit to grow

Acer Inc confirmed its full-year profit forecast and said it expects fourth-quarter sales to rise as it sells more laptops and Tablet PCs, Les Echos quoted president Wang Chen-tang (王振堂) as saying.

Acer expects a full-year operating profit of US$59 million.

Nine-month sales were more than US$3 billion, or 40 percent more than the year-earlier period. Operating profit was US$32 million, Wang told Les Echos.

Acer returned to the US retail market this year after a four-year absence, having pulled out in 1999 to focus on making computers sold under other companies' brand names.

NT dollar strengthens

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday moved higher against its US counterpart, rising NT$0.020 to close at NT$34.009 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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