■ Simplo may gain from recall
The recall by Dell Inc of 4.1 million Sony-manufactured notebook computer batteries that could burst into flames, is set to benefit Simplo Technology Co (新普科技), the world's second-largest notebook battery maker, a report said yesterday.
The Central News Agency said Simplo had confirmed that it has received an urgent order of 400,000 batteries from Dell as a result of the recall, and shipments will be completed within two months.
This is expected to boost the company's shipments in the current quarter, as the company said last month that it expected volumes to increase by 20 percent over the earlier three months, the report said.
■ Visitors' Visa usage rises
Visa credit card transactions by foreign visitors in Taiwan during the first quarter of this year totaled NT$4.7 billion (US$147 million), up by 0.8 percent year-on-year, according to a report made public yesterday by the Visa International Service Association.
According to the report, most of foreign visitors' spending was on accommodation (30 percent), retail purchases (28 percent) and transportation (12 percent).
Department stores, duty-free shops and boutiques were most frequented by foreign visitors during the January to March period, the report said.
The number of transactions made via telephone by foreign visitors using Visa credit cards in the first quarter increased the most -- by 162 percent -- over the level for the same period a year earlier, the report said.
Online shopping transactions by foreign visitors with Visa credit cards accounted for 2.7 percent of the total Visa card spending by foreign visitors during the three months, according to the report.
■ GDP growth expected to slow
The nation's economic growth is likely to have moderated in the second quarter as a slowdown in consumption partially offset the nation's strong exports.
GDP is expected to have grown 4.41 percent in the second quarter from the same period last year, according to the average forecast of nine economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.
That would be slower than the government's second-quarter estimate of 4.92 percent and the first quarter's 4.93 percent.
For all of this year, the economists expected GDP to grow 4.07 percent.
GDP grew 4.09 percent last year.
The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics is scheduled to issue its second-quarter GDP data tomorrow.
■ Bonds drop on rate fears
The nation's 10-year bonds fell for a second day on concern the central bank will keep raising borrowing costs to prevent the interest-rate gap with the US from widening.
The interest rate for overnight loans in Taiwan is 1.59 percent, less than a third of the US Federal Reserve's key rate of 5.25 percent.
"The central bank doesn't want the interest-rate differential with the US to be too big" as that may encourage investors to send funds abroad, said Morgan Tsai, a bond trader at Masterlink Securities Corp (元富證券). "Traders are a bit bearish today."
The yield on the benchmark 1 3/4 percent bond due March 2016 rose 0.9 basis point, or 0.009 percentage point, to 2.078 percent, according to Gretai Securities Market. The price fell 0.0741, or NT$74.1 per NT$100,000 face amount, to 97.16.
■ NT dollar declines
The New Taiwan dollar lost ground against its US greenback yesterday, declining NT$0.011 to close at NT$32.756 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.