■ Chartered wins AMD order
Chartered Semiconductor Manu-facturing Ltd (特許), the world's third-largest provider of made-to-order chips, said it won its first order to make microprocessors from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Chartered, based in Singapore, said it will also license part of Advanced Micro's manufacturing systems for its newest factory and may begin production in 2006. Financial details weren't immediately available. Microprocessors, which power personal computers, are some of the most complex semiconductors. Chartered, which competes with industry leader Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), has been trying to upgrade its ability to make more advanced chips in order to gain more orders.
■ Chunghwa announces profit
Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) said Tuesday it had a net profit of NT$43.45 billion (US$1.32 billion) in the 10 months to October or 4.0 percent ahead of its full year target of NT$41.58 billion. Sales in the 10 months rose 2.1 percent from a year earlier to NT$151.8 billion, with the company attributing the growth to its Internet and mobile businesses. Last month alone, sales came in at NT$15.09 billion, up 1.8 percent year-on-year but down 2.0 percent from September, according to filings to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
■ Support of textiles to continue
The government will continue to support the development of Taiwan's textile industry to maintain its status as the country's largest earner of foreign exchange, Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) said yesterday. Ho said Taiwan is currently the world's second and third-largest supplier of polyester and nylon fibers, respectively, with the world's largest output of nylon fibers for clothing. The textile sector is expected to contribute US$10 billion toward the trade surplus this year, with the total output of chemical fibers expected to amount to 3.16 million tonnes, she said. Ho made the remarks at the a 45th anniversary celebration for the Taiwan Textile Research Institute at which the past, present and future of the textile industry was presented to visitors in the form of street dances. There was also an exhibition of various newly developed fabrics. The institute will in the near future establish cooperation alliances with various foreign research institutions and companies including Germany's Hohensteiner Institutes, Coatema and Dow Chemical to enhance the application of fabrics in the medical, sports and technological fields, officials said.
■ Loan program to be extended
A favorable loan program for the country's traditional industries that do not employ high technology will be renewed for another year, an economics official said Monday. Council for Economic Planning and Development Vice Chairman Yeh Min-feng (葉明峰) said that during a meeting earlier in the day, Premier Yu Shyi-kun asked for a one-year renewal of the program, which expired at the end of last month. A total of NT$450 billion (US$13.67 billion) will be set aside for the program, which will bring total credit to be extended under the program to NT$2 trillion, Yeh said. Traditional industries have been plunged into difficulties because of the high cost of local labor and the government launched the favorable loan program in October, 2000, to provide them with soft loans.
■ NT dollar weakens
The New Taiwan dollar turned weak yesterday against its US counterpart, declining NT$0.084 to close at NT$32.974 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$694 million.