■ Stocks close higher
Share prices closed 0.47 percent higher yesterday after bargain-hunting outweighed early falls driven by Wall Street's overnight weakness amid renewed interest rate concerns, dealers said.
The TAIEX closed up 29.96 points at 6,471.42, on turnover of NT$61.20 billion (US$1.86 billion).
"Recent light turnover signaled the potential for the market to bottom out going forward," said Tu Jin-lung (杜金龍), chairman of Grand Cathay Investment Services Corp (大華投顧). "Riding on the Wall Street-driven falls in early trade, investors hunted for bargains, including those going ex-dividend today."
Some investors began building portfolios when stock prices were diluted after going ex-dividend.
■ Philips-BenQ venture approved
Royal Philips Electronics NV secured antitrust approval to set up a data-storage venture with Taiwan's No. 1 cellphone maker BenQ Corp (明基), the European Commission announced in a statement yesterday.
The venture, in which Philips will hold a 51 percent stake and BenQ the rest, will cooperate on the development, manufacture and sale of optical data storage drives for personal computers.
■ Microsoft workers allowed in
The government yesterday gave the green light to 421 Chinese employees of Microsoft Corp to attend the software giant's regional meeting in Taipei later this month, but is still reviewing a mainland official's application to visit the nation.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs approved Microsoft's application for its 421 mainland staff to attend Microsoft's Greater China regional annual meeting, to be held on from the 20th to 27th of this month at the Taipei Sheraton Hotel.
In the past, Microsoft had to hold its regional annual meetings in China, Hong Kong or Macau, due to Taiwan's policy of allowing international companies to bring in only 30 Chinese staff at a time to attend meetings in Taiwan.
■ Beijing Sanyuan eyes Taiwan
Beijing Sanyuan Foods Co (北京三元食品), a Chinese partner of McDonald's Corp, said it has talked to local and overseas potential strategic investors including Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業), the nation's biggest food company.
"The discussion with Uni-President has merely been an exchange of information and both parties have not entered actual negotiations," money-losing Sanyuan said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange yesterday. The statement denied a local media report that Uni-President has agreed to buy a 35 percent stake at 4 yuan per share.
Sanyuan, which produces and sells milk products, is one of Uni-President's potential partners, but "both sides haven't reached any concrete agreements," Uni-President spokeswoman Selina Wu (吳旭慧) said yesterday.
■ AIG acquires local firm
American International Group Inc (AIG) said yesterday that it has completed the acquisition of Taiwan-based Central Insurance Co (中央產險).
AIG subsidiary AIG Direct Marketing Co made the acquisition through a statutory share swap and now owns 100 percent of the company's shares, according to an AIG statement.
The AIG unit offered 1.71 preferred shares for each Central Insurance common share, in a transaction that valued the Tai-wanese firm at US$190 million.
■ NT dollar trades lower
The New Taiwan dollar traded lower against its US counterpart yesterday, declining NT$0.046 to close at NT$32.864 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.
Turnover was US$942 million.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday gave the green light to Good Way Technology Co’s (東碩資訊) application to invest up to NT$700 million (US$23.1 million) in Taiwan under a three-year program that provides incentives for overseas Taiwanese companies to invest back home. Good Way, which specializes in docking stations and counts Intel Corp among its major clients, plans to set up a manufacturing facility in New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止), the ministry said in a statement. Good Way, which has a research and development facility in Taiwan and only one manufacturing plant — in Kunshan, China — decided to expand its
Business sentiment in all industries last month weakened further as the number of COVID-19 infections escalated, threatening to push the global economy into a recession, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台經院) said yesterday. The business confidence gauge for local manufacturers fell 5.31 points to 88.73 from a month earlier, the lowest since January last year, a monthly survey by the Taipei-based institute indicated. Only 19.3 percent of manufacturers remained upbeat about their business outlook in the coming six months, 6 percentage points lower from a month earlier, while companies with a gloomy outlook rose 9.8 percentage points to 36.9 percent,
‘STAY CONNECTED’: Chairman Simon Lin dismissed the pandemic as a short-term issue and forecast a small increase in the firm’s top line and profit margin this year Wistron Corp (緯創), one of Apple Inc’s iPhone assemblers, yesterday said it was upbeat regarding business this year, despite production being halted in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are under a big threat of course, regarding the coronavirus outbreak, as we encountered a factory shutdown as well as material shortages from the supply chain [in China] … but we believe this is a short-term issue,” Wistron chairman Simon Lin (林憲銘) told investors at an earnings conference in Taipei. He forecast a small annual increase in the company’s top line this year, as well as an increase in its profit margin. The
ENTERTAINMENT Taipei Game Show canceled The Taipei Game Show has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Taipei Computer Association (台北電腦公會) said yesterday. The annual expo was originally scheduled for February, but the association on Jan. 31 postponed it until June 25 to 28 after the WHO declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. As the Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday advised against indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, the association said in a statement that it and most participating companies had agreed to call off the show this year. SEMICONDUCTORS China approves ASE merger The Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s