■ United Microelectronics up
In a sign of optimism for the electronics sector, United Micro-electronics Corp (聯電) said yesterday its revenue last month rose 47 percent from a year earlier to its best performance in 43 months.
The world's second-largest contract chipmaker said revenue last month rose to NT$10.32 billion (US$306 million) from NT$7.03 billion (US$208.5 million) in June last year.
It was UMC's best monthly showing since November 2000, when the firm's revenue reached an all-time high of NT$10.87 billion (US$322.3 million).
For the first six months of the year, UMC's revenue was NT$54.50 billion (US$1.61 billion), up nearly 38 percent from NT$39.60 billion (US$1.17 billion) for the same period last year.
■ Banks in on Toppoly loan
Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行) and International Commer-cial Bank of China (中國商銀) are among banks hired to arrange a NT$20 billion (US$593 million) loan for Toppoly Optoelectronics Corp (統寶光電), bankers involved in the transaction said.
Toppoly is the nation's largest maker of low-temperature liquid crystal display screens used in hand-held devices. It will use the seven-year loan to increase production of thin-film transistor LCDs to 75,000 a month by the end of 2004 from 40,000 now, a company official who declined to be identified said.
■ LCD prices slide in Q2
Prices of liquid crystal displays used in televisions and computer monitors slid in the second quarter after demand for flat TVs lagged behind supplier expectations, researcher ISuppli Corp said.
TV screen prices are declining by as much as 5 percent per month and smaller panels used in computer monitors are falling by a few percent, ISuppli analyst Paul Semenza said in the report.
"A key factor in the present market correction is the ongoing focus on TV as the key application for large-sized LCD panels" resulting in shortages of computer screens, Semenza said.
Declining prices have hampered LCD makers in raising money for expansion, ISuppli said.
■ More CAL Kaohsiung flights
China Airlines (華航) is planning to increase flights on its Kaohsiung-CKS International Airport route from three to six per day beginning August 1, the company said yesterday.
The company will "wet lease" Fokker 100 aircraft from Mandarin Airlines (華信) for this route, which means the plane is leased together with a crew.
■ New CSSC China venture
China Steel Structure Corp. (CSSC, 中鋼結構), an affiliate of China Steel Corp (中鋼), is building a manufacturing company in Kunshan, near Shanghai, to seek a share of China's mushrooming steel products market, a corporate source said Wednesday.
Commercial production of products including steel build-up sections and structures at the CSSC Kunshan Co (中鋼結構昆山) is expected to begin in 2005.
CSSC Kunshan Co, which will have an initial annual capacity of 40,000 metric tons of steel products, will target Taiwanese and foreign businesses in eastern China, as well as the high-rise construction industry in the Shanghai area, the CSSC official said.
■ NT dollar advances
The New Taiwan dollar yesterday turned stronger against its US counterpart, edging up NT$0.021 to close at NT$33.712 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$399 million.
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