Fri, Nov 28, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

Green light for October

The economy continued to gain momentum last month with economic indicators flashing a "green light" steady growth rate for a fourth consecutive month and perhaps signalling "slight overheating," official data showed yesterday. The index of leading indicators for last month came in at a 30-month high of 103.70 points, up 1.70 percent from September, said the Council for Economic Planning and Development. The composite indicator rose to 31.00 points last month from 29.00 in September, with both figures signaling a "green light" level pointing to steady economic growth, the council said. The council uses a five-tier system, with "blue" indicating recession, "yellow-blue" a slowdown, "green" steady growth, "yellow-red" slight overheating and "red" overheating. The council said there is a possibility for this month's composite indicator to show a "yellow-red light." "Such a prospect appears realistic thanks to a low comparative base last year and possible further improvement on the inventory and ... banking fronts," the council's Economic Research Department Director-General Hu Chung-ying (胡仲英) said.

Tatung talking to HP about TVs

Tatung Co (大同) said it may supply flat-panel televisions to Hewlett-Packard Co as the US computer company shifts to the consumer electronics business. "We have been talking," president Lin Wei-shan (林蔚山) said in an interview in Taipei, responding to newspaper reports that a contract has been signed. Hewlett-Packard will start shipments of flat TVs with screens measuring 17in and 20in diagonally in the first quarter next year, the report said. Tatung can't give more details because of a non-disclosure agreement with its customers, said executive vice president Kuo Wen-Yen (郭文豔), who is Lin's wife. Tatung is shipping flat TVs with screens as large as 30in to customers in the US, Japan and Europe, Lin said, declining to name them.

China Steel to raise Q1 prices

China Steel Corp (中鋼) said it plans to raise domestic prices for the first quarter to reflect higher global prices and rising raw material and transportation costs as the global economy recovers. The company plans to raise prices for six types of products with the size of the increases ranging from NT$111 a tonne (US$3.24) to NT$529 a tonne, it said in a statement, without giving current prices or comparative figures. The company will leave the price of electroplated-galvanized coils unchanged. China's steel demand has caused a shortage of almost all products and spurred an increase in prices, driving up costs of raw materials such as coal, metals, scrap steel and steel slabs, the company said.

Mitac forecasts sales boost

Mitac International Corp (神達), is expected to increase its sales this year by 60 percent to as much as NT$38 billion, company president Ho Chi-wu (何繼武) told a press conference on Wednesday while introducing the company's latest personal-digital-assistant products for the upcoming IT Month expo. With an anticipated growth in shipments of personal computers, servers and wireless communications products, Ho said the company projects next year's sales to rise to more than NT$50 billion.

NT hits three-month low

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday had its lowest close in three months amid investor concern over the legislation of a referendum bill. The currency weakened NT$0.04, or 0.1 percent, to close at NT$34.22 against its US counterpart on the Taipei foreign exchange market, its weakest close since Aug. 21. Turn-over was US$535.5 million.

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