TAITRA campaigns in Vegas
The semi-official Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) has recently launched an advertising drive in Las Vegas, where the world's largest international consumer electronics fair started on Thursday. As part of publicity efforts to lure foreign buyers to visit Taiwan during the coming year for several planned electronics fairs, TAITRA has had posters concerning the events pasted on shuttle buses traveling toward the fair venue. The posters provide information on planned electronics fairs, including the Taipei International Automobile Electronics Show, the Taipei International Digital Electronics Show and the Taipei International Electronics Autumn Show. TAITRA also provided 1,000 hotel coupons to foreign businesses to encourage them to travel to Taiwan, the council said.
Titans plan Taichung plants
Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) and Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (中華映管) plan to invest NT$930 billion (US$29 billion) to build plants in central Taiwan, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported, citing the Central Taiwan Science Park (中部科學園區) in Taichung. Powerchip plans to invest NT$310 billion to build four factories to produce chips from silicon wafers that measure 12 inches in diameter, the newspaper said. AU Optronics may invest NT$400 billion to build three so-called 7.5-generation factories to make larger flat-panel displays, the report said. Chunghwa Picture plans an investment of NT$22 billion to construct two flat-panel plants, the paper said.
Fund may get PRC go-ahead
The government may relax restrictions to allow the Labor Retirement Fund to invest in China and Hong Kong stocks, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported, citing the Council of Labor Affairs. The move aims to improve the fund's investment returns, the Taipei-based newspaper said. Currently, the Labor Retirement Fund is not allowed to invest in Chinese equities. The proposed relaxation of rules will be submitted to the Council's committee meeting next month, the paper said. The Fund had assets of NT$396.6 billion (US$12.3 billion) as of the end of November, according to the report. Taiwan's four main government-linked funds include the Labor Retirement Fund, the Postal Savings Fund, the Civil Servant Pension Fund, and the Labor Insurance Fund.
Executives expect bonuses
Executives at American Airlines are expecting April stock-based bonuses that could top US$1 million for some officials because shares of parent AMR Corp have risen despite heavy losses at the largest US carrier. AMR officials declined to estimate the cost of the bonuses. The company said stock options given to rank-and-file workers in 2003, which also vest in April, could top US$500 million. The amount of the bonuses will be based on AMR's stock price in April. At AMR's current stock price, they would range from about US$2,000 to about US$1.7 million for Daniel Garton, the airline's executive vice president for marketing. The plan was written in 2003, when AMR hovered near bankruptcy, and it rewarded executives and managers if AMR's stock performed as well or better than that of other airline companies through the end of 2005. During that time, AMR shares gained 169 percent.