Wed, Feb 11, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ UMC's revenue surges

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world's second-largest producer of made-to-order chips, said yesterday that its revenue last month surged 53 percent compared with the same month last year.

The rise in revenue to NT$8.29 billion (US$249.95 million) from NT$5.40 billion a year ago was in line with the company's predictions during its fourth-quarter investors' conference last week.

However, the figure was down slightly from NT$8.35 billion last December.

In the October-to-December period, UMC's net profit hit a three-year high of NT$6.73 billion as demand for consumer electronics picked up. It was the company's best performance since the last quarter of 2000, when it reported profit of NT$16.71 billion.

■ Tuntex's equities to be sold

Taiwan Financial Asset Service Corp (TFASC, 台灣金服) plans to auction off part of Tuntex Group's (東帝士集團) collateralized equities on Monday.

TFASC yesterday publicized the lowest bidding prices for several of the subsidiaries.

The low bid for Tuntex Petrochemicals Inc's (東展興業) shares would be NT$2.98 billion, with a deposit of NT$500 million at the auction.

For China Investment & Development Co's (中加投資) shares the low bid is NT$77 million while that for three other subsidiaries' shares is NT$50 billion.

The lowest bidding prices at the auctions will total NT$3.3 billion with four other auctions slated to be held in two months.

The auctions attracted heavy media attention given the recent accusations by Tuntex's former chairman, the fugitive Chen Yu-hao (陳由豪), the President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his administration received political donations from him.

He also accused the government of making sweetheart deals with its cronies in the planned sale of his Tuntex shares.

■ Compal sets income record

Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶), the nation's No. 2 notebook computer maker, said yesterday its net income hit a record high to NT$11.31 billions last year on strong demand for computer renewal.

Earnings per share rose to NT$3.8 each from NT$2.74 a year ago.

Sales also marked a historical high to NT$162.22 billion during the same period, up 39 percent from some NT$116.46 the previous year, Compal said in a statement.

Compal spokesman Gary Lu (呂清雄) attributed the robust growth to strong demand for laptop computers due ongoing replacement for desktops.

■ Economic recovery predicted

The global economy would keep recovering this year while the US and Japan have moderate to stable growth and the euro area has only slow progress, said John Calverley, chief economist and strategist at London-based American Express Bank, in a presentation yesterday in Taipei.

Interest rate as well as yield for bonds would rise with small scale and inflation pressure would go up in gradual progress this year, Calverley said.

Beijing may allow yuan to appreciate against the US dollar this year and Asian currencies, including the New Taiwan Dollar, would grow relatively strong, he predicts.

Under the rapid export growth, China government's financial stimulation would encourage strong rise in domestic demand, with forecasted growth rate at 8.8 percent.

■ NT dollar rises

The New Taiwan dollar traded higher Tuesday against its US counterpart, moving up NT$0.032 to close at NT$33.195 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

Turnover was US$1.486 billion.

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