Eight airlines apply for flights \n \nEight air carriers from the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have applied to operate direct cross-strait charter flights during the Lunar New Year holiday, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said yesterday. \nThe air carriers are China-based Shanghai Airlines (上海航空), Xiamen Airlines (廈門航空), China Southern Airlines (南方航空), China Eastern Airlines (中國東方航空), as well as Taiwan-based EVA Airlines (長榮), China Airlines (華航), UNI Air (立榮) and Mandarin Airlines (華信). \nA charter flight from China Southern Airlines will depart from Guangzhou at 8am on Jan. 29 and arrive at CKS International Airport at 9:30am, becoming the first charter plane from China to arrive at the airport. \nThe first chartered flight from Taiwan will be flown by EVA Airlines, which is scheduled to depart at 8:30am from Taipei to Beijing on Jan. 29. \nThe charter flights will run from Jan. 29 through Feb. 20. \nHoliday taxi fares to be raised \n \nTaxi fees will be hiked by up to 30 percent in northern Taiwan during Lunar New Year holidays, the ROC Taxi Association (計程車公會) announced yesterday. Between Feb. 6 and Feb. 13, fares during daytime will rise by 20 percent, the same rate charged at night, in Keelung City, Taipei City and Taipei County. An additional NT$20 will be charged for each journey at nighttime. \nThe fare hike is set at 30 percent in Hsinchu City. In Taoyuan County, taxi drivers are allowed to negotiate fee increases with passengers but the range must be kept under 30 percent of the original fees, the association said. \nFirms eye Chang Hwa shares \n \nING Groep NV and two other overseas companies are interested in buying shares that Taiwan's Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行) plans to sell to investors abroad, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information. \nThe US private equity firm Carlyle Group is also among the companies that may buy a Chang Hwa stake, the paper said. Chang Hwa will hold an auction late next month to sell the shares, the Times said, without identifying other possible overseas buyer. \nThe 23 percent stake in Chang Hwa Bank held by the Taiwan government and state-controlled banks is expected to fall to 18 percent after the sale, the paper said. \nThe Ministry of Finance may sell its stake in Chang Hwa, the nation's sixth-largest bank by assets, as part of a package to lure overseas investors, the same paper said on Dec. 11, citing Minister of Finance Lin Chuan (林全). \nInvestors sell UMC ADRs \n \nUnited Microelectronics Corp (聯電), the world's second-largest supplier of made-to-order chips, said shareholders in the US sold a stake in the company worth US$84.3 million. \nA total of 126.5 million shares packaged as American depositary receipts (ADRs) were sold between Dec. 9 and Jan. 20 for an average price of US$3.33 per ADR, the company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The ADRs closed trading at US$3.28 on Friday. \nOne ADR of the company is equivalent to five of the common shares traded in Taiwan. United Microelectronics said 13 unidentified shareholders participated in the sale. \nThe Securities and Futures Bureau said on Nov. 2 it approved the sale of as many as 110 million United Microelectronics shares. \nNew Taiwan dollar rises \n \nThe New Taiwan dollar advanced against the US greenback on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, gaining NT$0.083 to close at NT$31.830. \nA total of US$502 million changed hands during the day's trading.
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,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
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
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