Thu, Jul 15, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ IC industry increases 42%

Strong global demand for chips pushed up the output value of Taiwan's integrated circuit (IC) industry for the first half of the year to NT$496.3 billion, an increase of 42.4 percent from a year ago, according to a report which was released by the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center under the Industrial Technology Information Service yesterday.

IC manufacturing enjoyed the largest slice of the pie with NT$282.5 billion, and IC design netting NT$122.1 billion, IC packaging also accounting for NT$67.1 billion, and the test sector raked in NT$24.7 billion, the report said.

The design business enjoyed the highest growth rate of 58.4 percent, followed by test of 54.4 percent, the report noted.

The center estimates the industry will continue to grow for the next half of the year, amassing the output value to NT$1.16 trillion for the year, a 41.6 percent jump from last year.

■ Formosa targets IT products

Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團) will invest several billion Taiwan dollars to make chemicals used to clean materials from semiconductors and flat-panel displays in the production process, the Com-mercial Times said.

The group, which will start producing nitrogen trifluoride in the third quarter this year, aims to become the world's second-largest supplier by 2006, with output of 800 tonnes annually, the report said.

Taiwan has the world's fourth-largest chipmaking industry and the second-largest flat-panel display industry.

Taiwan and China this year will have the fastest-growing markets for chip-making equipment, expanding by 152 percent in this country and 140 in China, according to figures provided by the industry's association, the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International.

■ Biotech show predicts 80,000

The four-day BioTaiwan 2004 Exhibition organized by Taiwan Bio Industry Organization (生物產業發展協會) is scheduled to kick off next Wednesday and will run through to the following Satur-day in the World Trade Center exhibition halls.

"We hope the event can push forward the development of Taiwan's biotech industry as the info-month exhibition does to the nation's IT industry," Chien I-chung (簡義忠), the organization's secretary general, told a press conference yesterday.

The show features 650 booths by over 350 participant exhibitors showcasing their new products and technology, and more than 20 seminars on trends for the industry.

Chien said he hopes the event can attract up to 80,000 visitors this year.

■ Bond rules may be eased

Taiwan may consider easing restrictions on bond trading to allow short-selling, the Economic Daily News reported, citing Lee Shyan-yuan (李賢源), a commissioner at Financial Supervisory Commission.

Lee said Taiwan should also consider scrapping the withholding taxes that now apply to foreign investors trading bonds in Taiwan, the report said. He also said the nation should reform its bond fund industry, the report said.

Taiwan's central bank last month kept its rediscount rate, charged to commercial lenders for 10-day loans, at 1.375 percent, a record low. Rates have been cut 15 times since December 2000, most recently by a quarter of a percentage point in June last year.

■ NT dollar falls

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday moved down against the US dollar, declining NT$0.055 to close at NT$33.787 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. A total of US$674.5 million changed hands.

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