AU Optronics opens G6 fab
AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the world's third largest maker of flat-panel displays used in computer screens and televisions, said it started operations at its first factory that will make TV screens measuring 32 inches diagonally, as well as larger screens.
The plant, known in the industry as a sixth-generation (G6) factory, is the world's third, the Hsinchu-based company said in an e-mailed statement.
Sharp Corp of Japan and LG Philips LCD Co of South Korea last year opened the first sixth-generation plants, which produce the largest glass sheets from which television-sized screens can be cut. Samsung Electronics Co of South Korea, the world's largest maker of liquid-crystal displays (LCDs), plans to open a seventh-generation plant that can make TV screens 40 inches and larger this year.
Flat-panel prices are falling after record investments by LCD makers caused oversupply problems in the US$36 billion industry.
LG Philips said the glut would begin to ease in the second quarter as lower prices spur consumers to replace glass-tube TVs with flat-panel models that can be hung on walls.
Samsung, Teco plan alliance
Samsung Electronics Co will announce an alliance with Teco Electric & Machinery Co (東元電機) next month for Teco's distribution network to sell Samsung products, local media reported, citing Ho Wei-chang (何偉彰), vice president of the Korean company's Taiwan unit.
The two sides agreed to cooperate in marketing and may engage in further collaboration, local media said. Teco may also work with Toshiba Corp of Japan, local media said, without giving details.
Fiber maker may take over bank
China Manmade Fibers Corp (中國人纖) may take control of the management of Taichung Commercial Bank (台中商銀) after the fiber maker's stake in the bank rose above 10 percent, the Commercial Times reported, without saying where it obtained the information.
The Lin Yuan Group (霖園集團) agreed to sell its shares in Taichung Bank to China Manmade Fibers, the paper said, citing Huang Huo-tu (黃火塗), a board member of the bank.
The sale would bring the fiber maker's stake in the bank to 22 percent, according to the paper.
The Taichung Bank will re-elect its board in May, giving China Manmade Fibers an opportunity to take control, the newspaper said.
Council rejects projection
The Council of Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) yesterday flatly rejected a projection made by a Citigroup analyst that the New Taiwan dollar will strengthen and trade at NT$27 against the US greenback in five years.
CEPD vice chairman Yeh Ming-feng (葉明峰) said that the nation's trade surplus with the US is narrowing from US$5.52 billion in 2003 to US$4.24 billion last year.
"Pressures on the NT dollar's appreciation are not heavy," Yeh said.
He added that pressures on currencies of two Asian countries -- China and Japan -- to appreciate are a lot heavier since the two countries' trade surplus with the US are huge.
The CEPD yesterday expressed concern that a weakening US dollar, troubled by the US' dual-deficit plight, will negatively impact the world economy and worsen a trade imbalance. Under such circumstances, the CEPD urged G7 countries to take joint action to manage the greenback's future fluctuation.
NT dollar gains ground
The New Taiwan dollar yesterday strengthened to trade at NT$31.85 against its US counterpart. Turnover was US$558 million.