Tue, Nov 30, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Time needed for 3G services

The telecommunications industry will need at least another two years before third-generation (3G) mobile phone services generate meaningful revenues, an industry chief executive was quoted in a Chinese-language newspaper yesterday.

The conservative assessment of a market with one of the world's highest mobile phone penetration rates highlights lingering doubts over when the technology, in which network operators worldwide have invested billions of dollars, will reach critical mass, the newspaper said.

"3G is one step up in technology but it is not revolutionary," Harvey Chang (張孝威), president and chief executive officer of Taiwan Cellular Corp (台灣大哥大), the nation's second-largest mobile phone operator, told the daily.

"Taiwan Cellular's top priority is to increase the value generated per customer but I don't think 3G is the answer," he said.

"3G will come but the question is when," he said. "If 50 percent of our customers use 3G, I would consider this mainstream but I don't think that will happen within the next 18 months or even two years," he said.

Taiwan Cellular's 3G network will be ready to begin commercial operations in the middle of next year, he said.

Infodisc bumped off the TSE

Infodisc Technology Co (訊碟科技) will be suspended from trading on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Wednesday as the debt-ridden DVD disc supplier failed to renew its third-quarter financial result as requested, the stock market regulator said in a statement yesterday.

But, the company can avert the fate if it turns in the financial result prior to tomorrow, the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp said in the release.

The regulator's request came after Infodisc outgoing chairman, David Lu (呂學仁), was accused of embezzling NT$2.6 billion after the company reported a huge loss of NT$4.26 billion during the first half of this year.

Infodisc was barred from credit trading early September after the scandal broke out.

China Steel to raise funds

China Steel Corp (中鋼) may raise as much as 325 million ringgit (US$85.5 million) selling shares in its Malaysian unit, Ornasteel Holdings Bhd, to help fund expansion as global prices for the metal rally.

China Steel will own 45 percent of Malacca-based Ornasteel after the IPO, the nation's third biggest this year. Shares in the company may start trading on the main board of Malaysia's stock exchange on Dec. 30.

Cross-strait trade increases

Two-way indirect trade between Taiwan and China in the nine months to September rose 37.5 percent to US$45.03 billion, the Board of Foreign Trade said yesterday.

That accounted for 18 percent of the nation's total external trade during the nine-month period, compared with 16.9 percent a year earlier, the board said. In the period, Taiwan registered a trade surplus with China of US$21.41 billion, up 23 percent, it said.

Exports to China rose 32.5 percent to US$33.22 billion in the nine-month period, while imports from China grew 54 percent to US$11.81 billion.

The US$33.22 billion worth of shipments to China accounted for 25.9 percent of total exports in the period, compared to 24.3 percent a year earlier, it added.

NT dollar declines

The New Taiwan dollar fell for the first day in four on speculation the central bank will sell its currency to stem a gain.

The NT dollar fell NT$0.06, or 0.2 percent, to close at NT$32.155 against its US counterpart on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$819 million.

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