Hsieh accepts `shit' resignation
Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday that he has approved the resignation of Steve Shieh (謝壽夫), chairman of First Financial Holding Co (第一金控), while there has been no decision yet as to Shieh's successor.
Hsieh made the remark while fielding a question by opposition Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker Lee Sen-zong (李顯榮) during a legislative answer-and-question session.
Shieh offered to step down after a controversy erupted when he used the English expletive "shit" during a heated exchange with another KMT lawmaker, Alex Fei (費鴻泰) last Thursday.
LCDs to replace old TVs
Shipments of liquid-crystal-display (LCD) televisions are expected to expand rapidly to 46.8 million units in 2008 from an estimate of 8.8 million in 2004 on the road to replace traditional cathode-ray-tub (CRT) sets, market researcher DisplaySearch projected yesterday.
In 2008, sleek LCD TVs will account for about a quarter of overall 213.1 million TV sets shipped. Last year, the more expensive TV sets merely made up a small 5 percent of the total TV market.
During the four-year period, shipments of boxy CRT TVs will continue to fall to around 145.7 million units from 164.8 million in 2004. Penetration rate will drop to 68 percent from 90 percent.
Global TV shipments are expected to increase at a 4 percent composite average annual rate to 213.1 million units in 2008, from 181.9 million units in 2004.
Teco lost NT$400 million
Teco Electric & Machinery Co (東元電機), a leading television vendor in Taiwan, said yesterday that it swung into losses of NT$400 million last year resulting from NT$800 million in asset impairment.
The result came as Teco board decided on an early adoption of stricter accounting rules. The rules, Financial Accounting Standard 35, require local companies to post 2005 financial results by restating their idled assets, or goodwill from mergers.
Teco previously said it would earn NT$390 million last year.
Hynix may partner Taiwan
Hynix Semiconductor Inc of South Korea may partner Taiwan companies such as Power Quotient International Co (勁永國際) to boost its NAND flash memory business.
Power Quotient Chairwoman Jance Lu (呂美月) said the company is in talks with an international memory chipmaker to form a strategic partnership and denied that the negotiating party was Hynix.
Shares of Power Quotient, which makes computer memory modules and flash memory storage deveices, have been restricted to cash transaction only on March 18 by the Taiwan Stock Exchange, amid allegations the company inflated revenue figures for last year.
Screen sales fail expectations
Sales of organic screens used in mobile phones and MP3 players are failing to meet projections amid a slow increase in production, researcher ISuppli Corp said.
Sales of organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, displays will rise 51 percent to US$615 million this year. That's 20 percent less than its industry projection six months ago. Shipments are poised to jump 92 percent to 60 million units, which would be 13 percent less than a September projection.
"It is clear at this point that (OLED) manufacturing is ramping up slowly," said Kimberly Allen, the author of ISuppli's latest semiannual report on the industry.
NT trades lower
The New Taiwan dollar traded lower yesterday against its US counterpart, declining NT$0.054 to close at NT$31.609 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.
Turnover was US$573 million.
The government’s business climate monitor last month remained “green” thanks to more working days, but consumer confidence retreated this month as the COVID-19 pandemic escalated, the National Development Council said yesterday. The healthy readings had much to do with the timing of the Lunar New Year, but still reflected the fast-evolving economic effects of the pandemic, NDC research director Wu Ming-huei (吳明蕙) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There is no room for optimism as the virus spreads quickly in Europe and the US, where self-isolation requirements are freezing demand for nonessential products and services,” Wu said. The development is worrying and much
Facebook Inc on Tuesday said that the COVID-19 outbreak was undercutting sales of the advertising that accounts for nearly all of its revenue, even as more users spend time on the social network during virus-related lockdowns. “We don’t monetize many of the services where we’re seeing increased engagement, and we’ve seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the company said in a statement. Facebook shares fell about 1 percent after hours following an 8.7 percent rise in regular trade. The company said messaging across its platforms had increased more than 50 percent
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday said it would consider easing regulations on life insurers’ real-estate investments to allow them to cut rents for tenants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The commission might lower the minimum rate of return on insurers’ real-estate investments, which stands at 2.095 percent, FSC Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) told a meeting of the legislature’s Finance Committee. Koo’s comment came after the Life Insurance Association suggested the FSC trim the minimum rate of return so insurers could cut rents to help affected tenants, such as restaurants, hotels, travel agencies and department stores. While the association suggested a cut of
Fitch Ratings Inc reduced its outlook on eight Taiwanese securities companies from “stable” to “negative” to reflect heightened uncertainty in the operating environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The companies are Oriental Securities Corp (亞東證券), Concord Securities Co (康和證券), Grand Fortune Securities Co Ltd (福邦證券), Shin Kong International Securities Co (新光證券), Ta Ching Securities Co (大慶證券), Tachan Securities Co (大展證券), Horizon Securities Corp (宏遠證券) and CL Securities Taiwan Co Ltd (台灣匯立證券). The revision mirrored heightened uncertainty and increasing pressure on their earnings and profitability amid potential proprietary trading losses, Fitch said. Downside risks have built up from increased capital market volatility, as well as