■ Hon Hai reaches settlement
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), one of Taiwan's largest electronics component makers, reached a settlement over a three-year patent infringement lawsuit with FCI Corp, the third largest connector and interconnection systems provider, the two companies said in a joint statement yesterday.
Hon Hai declined to reveal the compensation required in the settlement, but said the company's yearly earnings will not be negatively affected.
In the frame of the settlement, FCI has granted a worldwide license to Hon Hai for the use of its ball grid array patented technology for the aforementioned applications, according to the statement.
■ Big loan for Chunghwa Picture
ABN Amro Holding NV and Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) are among 15 banks picked to arrange a NT$33 billion (US$990 million) loan for Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (中華映管), the nation's No. 3 flat-panel display maker, said James Wu (巫俊毅), the company's chief financial officer.
Strong demand for thin-film transistor liquid crystal display monitors for televisions and computers is helping companies like Chunghwa Picture Tubes get cheaper loans, said Wu.
"This is the largest syndicated loan for our company," Wu said. "The cost of this loan is a bit lower than the previous one we signed in 2002, partly because market conditions of the industry have become more favorable."
■ EVA buys back Boeing 747s
EVA Airways Corp (長榮), the country's second-largest airline, bought five Boeing Co 747-400 aircraft from leasing companies for a total of NT$10.29 billion (US$309 million), Dow Jones Newswires reported, citing the airline.
Three of the 747s are passenger planes and two are cargo carriers, the report said.
■ Airlines to raise freight rates
China Airlines (華航) and Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd (港龍) plan to raise fuel surcharges on Taiwanese cargo flights by as much as a third next month to cover higher jet fuel costs.
Dragonair will raise its surcharge to NT$4 a kilogram for cargo to Asian destinations from Taiwan from NT$3, spokeswoman Floran Lee said. China Airlines, the nation's largest carrier, will raise its surcharge to NT$9 per kilogram on long-haul flights from NT$7, said spokesman Joseph Wu (武志厚). It will also lift intra-Asian rates by a similar amount to Dragonair.
■ Chartered to beef up plant
Singapore chipmaker Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd (特許) will spend up to US$1.2 billion on its newest wafer fabrication plant this year and next, chief executive Chia Song Hwee said.
Chia said US$400 million will be spent this year and between US$700 million and US$800 million rolled out next year for the company's Fab 7, which will start pilot-production of 12-inch wafers in the third quarter.
He said Chartered Semiconductor expects the plant to break even by the end of next year if production reaches 9,000 to 10,000 wafers per month.
Chartered, the world's third largest chip foundry, wants to produce 12-inch wafers to compete with rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電).
■ NT dollar loses on week
The New Taiwan dollar fell against the US dollar this week as the stocks tumbled on concern protests over the disputed outcome of elections last Saturday may deter investors.
The NT dollar moved up NT$0.004 to close at NT$33.274 against the greenback on the Taipei foreign exchange market yesterday, on a turnover of US$591 million. The currency declined 0.1 percent during the week.