Fri, Jul 02, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Office vacancy rates fall

Vacancy rates in Taipei's Grade A office market fell in the second quarter to 10.5 percent from 14.1 percent in the first quarter, the Jones Lang LaSalle real estate agency said yesterday.

This is the lowest rate in over two years, the statement said.

It is estimated that 14,500-ping of Grade A office space was absorbed in the first quarter. In the first half of the year, the market has absorbed 40 percent more Grade A office space than in all of last year, Jones Lang LaSalle said.

The agency predicts the vacancy rate will to continue drop in the third quarter, but no significant fall in net effective rents for the quarter, it added.

Carrefour must pay fines: FTC

The Fair Trade Commission ruled yesterday that Carrefour Taiwan Corp has to pay NT$700,000 worth of fines for airing misleading commercials, and must stop the advertisements immediately.

In an attempt to lure customers, Carrefour launched last year commercials promising to give consumers cash discount coupons. The retailer, however failed to disclose the preconditions and expiration dates of the coupons.

The company therefore has violated Article 21 of the Fair Trade Act (公平交易法) and the ads should no longer be aired, the commission said in the statement.

Fubon changes heads

Co-chief executive officer Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠) of Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) yesterday replaced retiring Yu Cheng (俞政) as chairman at both the financial-service company and its subsidiary Fubon Commercial Bank (富邦銀行) following a board meeting, the company said in a statement.

After working at Fubon for over five years, Yu has helped the company increase its revenue by an annual 15 percent, with NT$2 earnings per share, the statement said. Yu was vice governor of the nation's central bank before joining the bank.

Richard Tsai (蔡明興), the younger brother of Daniel Tsai, will fill the position of Fubon Financial's vice chairman, the statement added.

Internet calls available

PC Home Online (網路家庭), the nation's fourth largest Internet portal, yesterday kicked off a test version of an Internet voice-call service in partnership with global peer-to-peer (P2P) telephony company Skype Technologies SA, the company said in a statement.

P2P Internet phones enable users to make voice calls using their Internet connections. The voice-over-Internet protocol (VOIP) concept was developed by Skype, headquartered in London. Over 15 million users have downloaded the software since it became available on Aug. 29 last year, the statement said.

PC Home will officially launch the nation's first Internet voice call "PCHome-Skype" later this month, the statement noted.

Hon Hai, Wistron win order

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Wistron Corp (緯創資通) have won an order for about 2 million personal computers from Gateway Inc, which is trying to cut cost by buying from Taiwanese suppliers, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, without saying where it obtained the information.

Gateway will switch orders away from EMachines supplier Trigem Computer Inc of South Korea to Hon Hai for the first time, the report said. Hon Hai will get about two thirds of the orders, and the remainder will go to Wistron, the report said.

NT dollar climbs

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday turned strong against its US counterpart, rising NT$0.076 to close at NT$33.699 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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