Wed, Jun 08, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Trade-change timing uncertain

The Cabinet-level Financial Supervisory Commission yesterday said that the timing of when to widen the TAIEX's daily trading limit to 15 percent from the current 7 percent remains under evaluation, in a bid to downplay yesterday's report that the change will be carried out in October.

"We are not changing our plan," the commission's vice chairman Lu Daung-yen (呂東英) told a press conference yesterday, adding that they will not come out with the exact timing for the change until after the supportive measures are completed, which is expected to happen by October.

Lu made the remarks after Chinese-language reports yesterday cited Taiwan Stock Exchange chairman Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁) as saying that the authorities would lift the daily trading ceiling to 15 percent in October, one month later than previously thought.

The supportive measures include resetting computer systems, which will require four to six months to finish, raising the collateral maintenance ratio for margin trading from 120 percent to 140 percent -- which the authorities previously have said is slated to take place in August -- and evaluating investors' acceptance of the change, Lu said.

Powerchip to expand factories

Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), Taiwan's largest memory chip supplier, said it plans to raise more than NT$30 billion (US$962 million) to fund expansion at its factories.

The company may sell 300 million shares to institutional investors and NT$10 billion in convertible bonds, Vice President Eric Tang (譚仲民) said in Hong Kong today. Powerchip also plans to obtain syndicated loans of between NT$10 billion and NT$15 billion in the third quarter, he said.

Powerchip will start construction of its third plant to produce 300mm silicon wafers by the end of this year, which will cost US$1.8 billion to build and equip, Tang said. At the same time the Hsinchu, Taiwan-based company will start building a fourth 300mm wafer facility, he said.

At the end of last year, Powerchip had a 5 percent share of the worldwide dynamic random access memory, or DRAM, chip market, worth US$1.3 billion, and was the sixth-biggest supplier, ISuppli Corp said.

Powerchip's capital expenditure for this year would be NT$50 billion, Tang said. Capital spending in the first quarter was NT$14 billion.

Asustek seeks support for sale

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), the nation's largest motherboard maker, is seeking shareholders' approval to sell 350 million new shares overseas to raise funds. The company will submit the proposal at a shareholders' meeting tomorrow, deputy spokesman David Chang (張偉明) said today.

Similarly, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the nation's largest electronics company by sales, will ask stockholders to pre-approve a plan to sell as many as 300 million new shares overseas, the company said.

Asustek Computer may package new shares in the form of global depositary receipts for overseas investors, a Chinese-language newspaper reported today.

NT dollar rises

The New Taiwan dollar closed near the strongest in more than four weeks on speculation foreign investors will keep putting money into local stocks.

The NT dollar gained NT$0.001 to close at NT$31.226 against its US counterpart yesterday on the Taipei foreign exchange market. The currency may strengthen to NT$31 this week, Kondou said.

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