Appeal made to private sector \n \nVice Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (陳瑞隆) yesterday urged the private sector to play a positive role in government-led international trade talks. \nWhile the opinions of commercial and industrial groups and non-governmental organizations have proved influential in WTO talks, the government also needs the support of the commercial and industrial sectors when negotiating on free-trade agreements with other countries, Chen said. \nIn the past, Taiwanese businessmen generally thought international trade talks were the government's business and seldom participated. \nBut Chen said the participation of the business community is very important to ensure that international trade regulations and measures adopted by the government are practical. \nMutual funds may list in HK \n \nTaiwan's mutual funds may be able to list on Hong Kong's stock exchange to raise funds there, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, citing Financial Supervisory Commission chairman Kong Jaw-sheng (龔照勝). \nKong met Hong Kong regulators this week, who showed interest in Taiwan's mutual funds, the paper said. Hong Kong regulators agreed to attend an emerging market seminar in Taipei on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, where the issue may be further discussed, it said. \nThe government allows overseas mutual funds to be sold locally, but Taiwan's mutual funds are unable to sell their products overseas, the paper said, citing Kong. Kong also hopes to approach Singapore about selling Taiwan mutual funds there, the paper said. \nSMIC cuts target \n \nSemiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際集成電路), China's biggest supplier of made-to-order chips, cut its production-capacity target this year by as much as 24 percent, reducing capital expenditure in response to slowing demand. \nThe company expects to be able to make between 140,000 and 155,000 wafers a month by the end of this year, from an earlier forecast of 185,000, company president Richard Chang said in a briefing at the Shanghai-based company's headquarters. \n"We expect the first quarter to be very hard for the whole industry and growth is likely to be flat for the year," Chang said. \nSemiconductor Manufacturing, whose customers include Samsung Electronics Co and Infineon Technologies AG, plans to reduce equipment spending to US$1 billion this year, from an earlier forecast of US$1.37 billion, Chang said. \nReal estate outlets hit new high \n \nThe number of real-estate agencies totaled 1,217 at the end of last year -- the largest number in six years -- Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋) reported on Thursday. The figure represents a 41-percent increase over the 2003 level, statistics compiled by the company show. \nA total of 378 new agencies -- including 325 in northern Taipei County -- were opened last year, double the previous year's level. \nTaipei County also had the largest number of real-estate agencies last year, followed by Taipei City and Kaohsiung City. Some 86,000 deals were made in Taipei County alone in the first 11 months of the year, which was 23 percent of the country's total. \nEvertrust Rehouse attributed the marked growth to the improved traffic infrastructure and the government's preferential-loan policy and other incentives to buyers. \nNT dollar drops \n \nThe New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded NT$0.151 lower against its US counterpart, closing at NT$32.019 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. \nTurnover was US$751 million.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion
MediaTek Inc (聯發科) has hired a former US Department of Commerce official to help it navigate worsening US-China tensions that have already ensnared its customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Patrick Wilson, who most recently served as director of the department’s Office of Business Liaison, has been appointed vice president of government affairs at MediaTek USA to lead its public policy initiatives, the chip designer said in a draft press statement seen by Bloomberg News. Wilson previously worked at the Semiconductor Industry Association, where he led the trade group’s dealings with the US federal government. Technology companies with ties to or operations in China