■ AUO raises Toppan investment
AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the world's third-largest maker of liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panels, said yesterday that it had boosted its holdings in Japanese color filter maker Toppan Printing Co's local subsidiary to NT$1.43 billion (US$43.17 million) to further improve its cost structure.
AU Optronics now owns 49 percent in Toppan CFI (台灣凸版國際採光), up from the 39.7 percent it bought for NT$6.1 billion last month.
Color filters are a key component of LCD panels and account for about 25 percent of the total cost of a 32-inch LCD TV panel, according to market researcher DisplaySearch.
■ Foxconn to build `city' in China
Foxconn Technology Group (富士康集團), a subsidiary of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), said it would invest at least US$1 billion in the Huaian Economic Development Zone located in eastern Jiangsu Province in China, a news release from the Huaian City Government revealed yesterday.
Foxconn would invest in facilities for making electronic products in the zone, the city government's statement said on its Web site.
The Taiwan-based business group would spend five years building a Foxconn (Huaian) industrial city there, the site said.
Huaian government officials have voiced support for the Foxconn investment, while company head Terry Gou (郭台銘) said he has confidence in the investment environment there.
■ Chang Hwa enters partnership
Western Union Financial Services Ltd, a US-headquartered money-transfer service company, yesterday announced a partnership with Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行) that will offer cross-border express remittance services at the bank's 45 branches nationwide. Including its previous deals with Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行) and Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), the number of the firm's service branches in Taiwan has surpassed 100, said Chris Yau (姚新元), director of Western Union's Taiwan branch.
Company statistics show that Taiwanese people wired US$18.2 billion to China last year in a 70.31 percent increase over the level in 2004. Remittances sent from China to Taiwan in the same period totaled US$23.8 billion, up by 62.7 percent over a year ago.
■ Uni-President targets China
Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業), Taiwan's leading food-manufacturing company, is considering a further expansion in China that could account for almost half of the company's revenue, company spokesperson Selina Wu (吳旭慧) said yesterday.
Uni-President had decided not to increase its Southeast Asian investments but instead focus on China for future overseas development, Wu said.
"China is a growing market for Uni-President. The company's top priority is to make good use of the resources there to grow," Wu said.
Since 1992, Uni-President has invested US$342 million in its operations in China, close to 40 percent of the company's net worth as allowed by Taiwanese law.
■ Koo family to raise stake
At the urging of the government, the Koo family will raise its stake in China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控) to up to 20 percent in order to keep control of the nation's fifth-largest financial company.
Company president Angelo Koo (辜仲瑩) has said his family would raise its share holdings in accordance with the government's request, said Joanne Yang, vice president of China Development, relayed in an interview yesterday.