■ Caution drives shares lower
Share prices closed 0.14 percent lower yesterday as caution ahead of the US Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates next week eroded early gains, dealers said.
The TAIEX closed down 9.10 points at 6,462.32, on turnover of NT$79.83 billion (US$2.43 billion).
"Riding on early gains, investors locked in profits on concerns over the prospects for interest rates," said Tom Tang (湯建源), president at Kai Yuan Securities Investment Consultant Co (開元投顧).
"Investors prefer to remain on the sidelines as more local firms are due to unveil their earnings results for the first half, while some are waiting for a clearer picture [to emerge] for the tech industry in the current quarter," Tang said.
■ Commission approves merger
The Fair Trade Commission yesterday approved Hon Hai Precision Industry Co's (鴻海精密) application to merge with camera maker, Premier Image Technology Corp (普立爾).
Hon Hai Precision is the nation's biggest maker of electronics components. Premier Image is the nation's top camera maker, commanding 44 percent of the domestic market for contract camera manufacturing, the commission said in a statement.
"There is no overlap between the two firms' manufacturing and there won't be marked influence on the respective market structure and market share following the merger," the statement read.
This deal is conducive to sharpening the nation's electronics sector's competitive edge, and stimulating demand for research and development talent, it added.
The deal is scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1 this year, with Hon Hai to be the surviving entity.
■ CAL expands Delta link
China Airlines (CAL, 華航), the nation's leading carrier, said yesterday that it had expanded its code-sharing services with US-based Delta Air Lines beginning Aug. 1.
China Airlines has added three round-trip sectors to the two airlines' code-sharing program -- from Los Angeles to Hartford, Columbus and Raleigh/Durham.
Under the latest code-sharing plans, CAL's operations in the US will cover the East and West coast markets, as well as the Midwest and the South.
Meanwhile, Delta codes will be used for CAL flights from Anchorage, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York (JFK), San Francisco and Seattle to Taipei, as well as onwards to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
Delta codes will also be used for CAL flights from Tokyo to Taipei, it added.
The two carriers first launched two-way code-sharing cooperation on Trans-Pacific services in May 2004.
■ Paperless certificates pushed
Paperless processing of vehicle import certificates will commence Thursday next week, officials from the Directorate General of Customs said yesterday.
Starting next Thursday, no paper certificates will be issued except in cases where the vehicle imports are exempted from duties or when the car owner is entitled to a commodity tax refund, the officials said.
They said paperless processing is expected to shorten the amount of time people spend on applying for license plates, as well as the time customs authorities spend on processing related documents. The new measure will also help prevent forgery, the officials said.
■ NT dollar slips
The New Taiwan dollar continued losing ground against its US counterpart yesterday, declining NT$0.001 to close at NT$32.865 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.