Fri, May 07, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs


■ Taipower to sell NT$12bn debt

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電), the nation's biggest electricity company, will sell NT$12 billion (US$361 million) of five-year notes to expand generating capacity. It scrapped a plan to sell seven-year notes because the interest rates demanded were too high. Taipower will pay annual 2.1 percent interest on the notes, 0.5 percentage point more than on five-year debt it sold last month, according to a statement on the company's Web site. Yuanta Core Pacific Securities Co (元大京華證券) is arranging the issue, which is expected to go ahead next month and in July, the statement said. The company has a twAAA credit rating, the highest assessment, from Taiwan Ratings Corp, a unit of Standard & Poor's.

■ Companies buy back shares

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), the world's biggest notebook computer maker, and China Life Insurance Co (中國人壽), the insurance arm of the Koos Group, said they plan to buy back shares to support sliding stock prices. Quanta plans to spend as much as NT$3.6 billion on a share buyback to halt a slide in the stock price. Quanta may buy as many as 40 million shares at up to NT$90 each, the company said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The buyback period started yesterday and will last until July 5. China Life Insurance plans to spend as much as NT$1.1 billion on a share buyback after the stock fell 26 percent in six trading days. The company may buy as many as 35 million shares at up to NT$32.22 each. The buyback period starts today and will last until July 6.

■ Laptop sales surges in Q1

More than 377,000 laptop computers were sold in China during the first quarter, up 43.7 percent from a year ago, according to Chinese Information and Comm-unication Technology Co (CICT, 中華資通), a local agent for the China Center for Information Industry Development (CCID). CCID is a research and survey institute under China's Ministry of Information Industry. Top five vendors, which are Legend Group (聯想), IBM Corp, Dell Inc, Toshiba Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co, grabbed 66.4 percent market share. Acer Inc, rated the sixth, was the highest ranking amongst its Taiwanese peers. As for desktops, up to 3.2 million units were sold over the same period, up 23.3 percent from a year ago, bolstered by growing demands from education and energy sectors as well as government agencies, CICT said. Top five players in desktops such as Legend, Founder Technology Group's (方正科技), Tsinghua Tongfang (清華同方), Dell and TCL Corp, took nearly half of market share, the company said.

■ Formosa Plastics sales rise

Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑), the nation's largest maker of polyvinyl chloride, said sales last month rose 81.66 percent from a year ago to NT$10.06 billion, the company said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The April figure was up 4.4 percent from the previous month. For the first four months, revenues rose 56.41 percent to NT$36.52 billion, the company said.

■ NT dollar gains ground

The New Taiwan dollar continued gaining ground against its US counterpart, rising NT$0.057 to close at NT$33.195 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$565 million.

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