Tue, Jan 24, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

Quanta buys into RoyalTek

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), the world's biggest notebook computer maker, agreed to purchase a 40 percent stake in RoyalTek Co (鼎天國際) through a US$27.5 million share swap, giving it control of the Taiwanese manufacturer of global positioning systems.

Quanta will buy 17.85 million new shares to be issued by Taipei-based RoyalTek and 5.78 million existing shares owned by Eten Information Systems Co (倚天資訊), Quanta said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

Taoyuan, Taiwan-based Quanta will issue one of its own new shares for every 1.25 RoyalTek share, according to the statement.

The purchase is valued at NT$879 million (US$27.5 million) based on Quanta's share price yesterday.

Shares of Quanta fell 1.3 percent to NT$46.50. RoyalTek fell 6.9 percent to NT$59.70. Eten, a maker of handheld personal digital assistants, or PDAs, dropped 6.9 percent to NT$23.10.

CPC plans storage expansion

State-run Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC, 中油) said yesterday it is planning a NT$150 billion (US$4.67 billion) investment to expand its natural gas storage capacity.

Upon completion of the 10-year project, the CPC expects storage capacity to increase to 19 million tonnes from its current figure of about 7 million tonnes, a company spokeswoman said.

"The plan aims to meet a rise in domestic demand for natural gas as Taiwan is trying hard to reduce dioxide emission for environmental protection," she said.

According to a forecast by the Energy Bureau, Taiwan's natural gas consumption is expected to increase to 13 million metric tonnes in 2010 and to 16 million to 20 million tonnes in 2020 from a figure of 7.63 million tonnes in 2004.

Biotech revenue grows by 10%

The revenue of Taiwan's biotech industry grew to NT$158.5 billion (US$4.96 billion) last year, for a year-on-year increase of 10 percent, the Industrial Development Bureau under the Ministry of Economic Affairs reported yesterday.

Investment value in the biotech industry also picked up to total NT$25 billion for last year, marking an annual growth of 7 percent, bureau officials said, adding that this is an indication that investors are optimistic about the outlook for the industry.

According to the officials, the ministry and the Department of Health have set up a platform between the government and the industry upon which companies can get government assistance in removing business barriers and improving the marketing of their products.

CPC promises price freeze

The state-owned Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC, 中油) said yesterday that it will not increase prices for petroleum products before the Lunar New Year holiday.

CPC officials noted that with the price of west Texas intermediate crude oil soaring to US$68.40 per barrel on Jan. 20 compared to around US$42 in early 2005, CPC's oil purchase costs have increased dramatically.

But they said CPC has to take into consideration the lives of the public as well as helping the domestic economy.

Despite the continued rise in world crude oil prices, the officials said they decided not to hike prices before Chinese New Year and that they will only review prices after the holiday period.

NT dollar rises

The New Taiwan dollar gained against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, rising NT$0.142 to close at NT$31.983.

A total of US$954 million changed hands during the day's trading.

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