Sat, Jun 12, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ IPR campaign pays off

Government efforts to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) have paid off, with the value of Taiwanese counterfeit goods seized by the US Customs Service dropping to US$60,000 in the first half of the fiscal year, the Intellectual Property Office said in a press release on Thursday, citing statistics from the US Customs and Border Protection and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The figures in the same period for 2002 and last year were US$2.54 million and US$320,000 respectively, the statement said.

The counterfeit goods seized did not include much computer software, which facilitated intellectual copyright infringement, but instead sunglasses and computer hardware, the statement said.

"The Ministry of Economic Affairs will continue to work with the relevant authorities to protect the interests of copyright holders and establish a quality environment for them," the statement said.

■ Citigroup reshuffles managers

Citigroup announced management changes yesterday in its Asia-Pacific operations, appointing its Hong Kong manager Catherine Weir as head of the group's Global Corporate & Investment Banking (GCIB) venture in Greater China, the US investment bank said in a statement.

The bank also announced that Chan Tze-ching (陳子政) had been appointed as chief operating officer for GCIB in the Asia-Pacific. Chan, reporting to Weir, will remain Citigroup's Taiwan manager, the statement said.

Richard Stanley, previously China manager, is now head of GCIB for ASEAN, it added.

■ Hon Hai expands in Hungary

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the nation's biggest company by sales, will expand operations in Hungary by US$66 million, the Vilaggazdasag daily said, without stating its source.

Hon Hai, which makes PlayStation 2 video-game consoles for Sony Corp and personal computers for Dell Inc, needs to expand its Hungarian unit because of increasing demand, the Vilaggazdasag report said. The plant mostly supplies the local mobile-phone factory of Nokia Oyj.

Hon Hai, which set up the plant for US$44 million last year, also has a plant in the Czech Republic and is among a number of electronics companies moving production facilities from Asia to Eastern Europe.

■ Powerchip raises cash

Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), which in the first quarter became the nation's largest memory-chip maker, raised US$440.8 million by unloading shares and bonds overseas, the sale's arrangers said.

The company raised US$290.8 million selling global depositary shares at US$7.27 each, a 10 percent discount to its closing price yesterday. It also raised US$150 million selling five-year bonds convertible into shares.

Powerchip chairman Frank Huang (黃崇仁) said in January that the company would double spending for expansion this year to US$1 billion from last year.

■ Philippines draws attention

Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油), the nation's state-owned oil refiner, said it wants to explore for oil and gas in the Philippines, said Philippine Energy Secretary Vincent Perez.

The Philippines also invited Taiwan Power Co (台電) to invest in the assets of National Power Co, a state-owned Philippine utility, that are due to be sold, Perez said.

■ NT dollar down

The NT dollar yesterday continued to lose ground against the greenback, declining NT$0.075 to close at NT$33.605.

Turnover was US$519 million.

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