Tue, Feb 03, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

■ China imposes phenol tariffs

China has begun imposing punitive tariffs of up to 144 percent on phenol imports from Japan, the US, South Korea and Taiwan because these products have been sold at below cost in the country, the Ministry of Commerce said.

Phenol is used to make adhesives and plastics.

China will impose tariffs on phenol imports from the four countries to protect domestic makers of the chemical, the ministry said in a statement. The tariffs, enforced at a minimum of 3 percent, took effect yesterday and will last for five years.

■ Chi Mei doubles sales

Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子), the nation's second-largest maker of flat-panel displays used in computers and televisions, had a third straight quarter of profit as sales doubled on higher prices.

The company had net income of NT$4.8 billion for the fourth quarter, compared with a net loss of NT$608 million a year ago. The latest figure was derived by subtracting audited nine-month numbers from the full-year unaudited number that the company released.

Sales, reported monthly, rose to NT$21.3 billion from NT$10.1 billion in the previous period. Prices of flat-panel displays rose by as much as a third from a year earlier.

Last year, Chi Mei's profit rose to NT$7.1 billion from NT$4.5 billion in 2002. Sales rose by more than half to NT$62 billion from NT$40.7 billion.

■ Chip packager posts profit

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (日月光半導體), the world's No. 2 chip packager, had a third straight quarter of profit as sales climbed by two-fifths.

Net income was NT$2.1 billion (US$63 million), or NT$.61 per share, for the fourth quarter. That compares to a net loss of NT$28.9 million, or NT$.01, a year ago, the Kaohsiung-based company said.

Sales rose to NT$100.4 billion from NT$71.8 billion.

"We were able to capitalize on particularly robust demand for high-end capacity from wireless communications customers," said chairman Jason Chang (張虔生).

"Demand for our services was strong across our entire customer base," Chang said.

Advanced counts among its larger customers Motorola Inc, Qualcomm Inc, Agilent Technologies and Conexant Systems Inc.

Advanced Semiconductor plans to buy a computer-chip assembly plant from NEC Corp, a Chinese-language newspaper reported today, without citing the source of its information.

The company will announce Tuesday that it will pay US$80 million to buy the plant from NEC, the Chinese-language newspaper reported.

■ Hon Hai denies HK report

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the nation's largest company by sales, denied a Chinese-language newspaper report that it will consider a plan to combine holdings in 15 mobile-phone related companies for a Hong Kong listing.

"At present, there is no concrete plan or timetable to list shares in Hong Kong," the company said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp.

No bank has been hired to help manage a share sale, Hon Hai added.

The rumored plan would have allowed Hon Hai employees to take a stake in one of the company's most profitable businesses, where sales last year reached about NT$30 billion, the report said.

■ NT dollar higher

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded higher against its US counterpart, rising NT$0.057 to close at NT$33.33 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

Turnover was US$653 million.

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