■ Infineon plans IPO
Infineon Technologies AG, Europe's second-largest maker of semiconductors, plans to sell shares in its memory-chip business in an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange in the second half of this year. The exact timing for selling shares in the unit called Qimonda AG will depend on the "market environment," the Munich-based company said in a statement yesterday. Infineon will continue to hold a majority in Qimonda after the IPO. Management board member Loh Kin Wah (羅建華) will head the new memory-chip company. Qimonda became a legally independent division on May 1 and Infineon's supervisory board approved the IPO plan yesterday.
■ Tatung chief passes away
Tatung Co's (大同) chief executive passed away yesterday after succumbing to kidney failure, according to a company statement. The 88-year-old Lin Ting-sheng (林挺生) died at his home at 12:20pm in the company of his family members, the statement read. Lin took charge of Tatung in 1942. Under his leadership, Tatung enjoyed an impressive history, becoming the first company to produce electronic fans in 1949, and the first private company in Taiwan to make an initial public offering in 1957. Lin officially passed his chairmanship to son Lin Wei-shan (林蔚山) in March, and assumed the role of chief executive. Founded in 1918, Tatung is the nation's leading maker of home appliances and industrial motors.
■ Ministry touts Americas
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and the quasi-official Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會) will jointly host three trade workshops next week aimed at helping local manufacturers explore American markets by taking advantage of free-trade agreements, a TAITRA official said yesterday. The official said that the Free Trade Area of the Americas is expected to become the world's largest trading bloc in the foreseeable future, and Taiwanese entrepreneurs should seek to make inroads into American markets as early as possible in order to speed up globalization of their business operations.
■ IT conference underway
A two-day forum on cross-strait information technology standardization opened in Taipei yesterday. The seminar was organized by Taiwan's SinoCon Foundation, headed by Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) -- a vice chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). China's Information Industry Vice Minister Jiang Yaoping (蔣耀平) arrived in Taipei on Tuesday with a 44-member delegation to participate in the conference.
■ Eva plans new route
EVA Airways Corp (長榮) plans to launch a new route to the Japanese city of Nagoya beginning July 10, airlines officials said yesterday. "We will provide five round-trip flights weekly between Taipei and Nagoya," spokesman Nieh Kuo-wei (聶國維) said. He said the new route would bring to six the number of Japanese destinations serviced by the company. The other Japanese cities EVA flies to are Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Sendai and Sapporo. Nieh said EVA would also expand its Taipei-Osaka service from seven to nine flights weekly beginning July 10 and to 11 flights per week beginning in the winter.
■ NT dollar appreciates
The NT dollar rose yesterday after the Japanese yen surged to an eight-month high, dealers said. The NT dollar rose NT$0.159 to close at NT$31.338 per US dollar on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$1.123 billion.