Ban dropped on finance firms \n \nThe nation's financial regulator said it dropped a restriction banning bills-financing companies from investing in stocks and keeping shares converted from bonds. \nThese holdings are restricted to 15 percent of their net worth, the Financial Supervisory Commission said in a statement. \nHoldings in any particular company are capped at 5 percent of that company's paid-in capital, it said. Bills-financing companies had been required to sell shares within six months of converting them from bonds. \nThe changes are aimed at helping bills-financing companies diversify investment risks, the regulator's statement said. \nChinese Petrol buys Exxon oil \n \nChinese Petroleum Corp (中油), the nation's state oil refiner, bought about 4 million barrels of low-sulfur crude oil for loading next month from Exxon Mobil Corp, a Chinese Petroleum official said. \nChinese Petroleum bought crude oil to be loaded in two very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, which can carry as much as 2 million barrels of oil each. It bought about four cargoes of 1 million barrels each of Equatorial Guinea's Zafiro and Topacio crude oils, said the official who asked not to be identified. \nChinese Petroleum will pay a discount of US$2 a barrel to benchmark Brent crude oil prices for Zafiro and a discount of US$4 a barrel to Brent prices for the Topacio cargoes, said traders who submitted offers to supply the cargoes. \nCrude oil with a sulfur content of less than 0.5 percent by weight, known as sweet crude oil, is more expensive than grades that contain more sulfur because refiners need to remove the pollutants. \nOutlook rosy for electronics \n \nThe outlook for the nation's electronics industry for the fourth quarter this year is vibrant, Rock Hsu (許勝雄), chairman of the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association (電電公會) said yesterday, with expected growth of 25 percent from a year ago. \nHsu spoke to reporters after attending the opening ceremony of the Taipei International Electronics show. \nHe said soaring costs and oil prices may weigh on the recovery of the industry, but strong demand supported by a vigorous global economy will help the sector weather those storms. \nMoreover, imports of electronic products for the first eight months of the year reached US$28.27 billion, a 22.5 percent increase from the same period last year, spelling a bumper year for the industry, he said. \nThe show, featured 890 participating companies occupying nearly 2,000 booths, runs through next Tuesday at the Taipei World Trade Center, Exhibition Hall I. \nCathay net income up \n \nCathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), the country's biggest financial services company, said unaudited net income was NT$25.4 billion (US$750 million) in the period from January to last month. \nThe Taipei-based company earned NT$3.16 per share, it said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange. \nBased on the earnings, Cathay Financial may post a 3.8 percent increase in third-quarter profit, with net income likely rising to NT$7.42 billion, based on unaudited figures, from NT$7.15 billion posted for the third quarter of last year. \nCathay had net income of NT$20.9 billion for the first nine months of last year. \nNT dollar gains \n \nThe New Taiwan dollar advanced against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, gaining NT$0.027 to close at NT$33.88. \nA total of US$589 million changed hands.
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a
Taipei 101, one of the nation’s leading shopping centers, is planning to reduce its business hours due to decreased demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Taipei 101 is to open daily at noon and close at 9pm from April 6, building management said in a statement on Monday. The shopping center has been opening at 11am and closing at 9:30pm from Sunday to Thursday, while closing at 10pm on Friday and Saturday. The restaurants in the food court — on the basement level — would adjust their business hours as necessary, but the supermarket would continue to open at 9am daily, management said. The shopping