Thu, Jan 25, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs


Real estate firms up on TAIEX

Shares closed 1.06 percent higher yesterday, driven by Wall Street's overnight rebound and several positive company-specific developments, dealers said.

The TAIEX added 83.18 points at 7,935.54, on turnover of NT$125.39 billion (US$3.81 billion).

Companies with hefty holdings in real estate benefited from news that Far Eastern Textile Ltd's (遠東紡織) unit Far Eastern Resource Development Co (遠東資源開發) had secured approval from the Taipei County Government to develop the firm's Banciao plant into communications and medical care zones.

Risers led decliners 662 to 520, with 203 stocks unchanged.

However, analysts warned that the market may begin consolidating its recent gains going forward, given an expected psychological resistance level of 8,000 points on the index.

Powerchip, Elpida seek loan

Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), the nation's largest memory-chip producer, and Japan's Elpida Memory Inc, are seeking a NT$30 billion (US$912 million) loan to build a plant in Taiwan, two bankers with knowledge of the deal said.

The chipmakers have started discussions with banks on the financing, which will fund the plant to build 12-inch dynamic random access memory chips, according to the bankers, who declined to be identified before the loan was finalized.

The two companies are investing in a new plant to increase production of DRAM, whose spot prices rose 61 percent last year on increased demand from Dell Inc and Hewlett-Packard Co.

EU fines Siemens 396.6 million

European authorities fined Siemens AG, Areva SA, Alstom SA, Schneider Electric SA and six competitors 750.7 million euros (US$976.6 million) for fixing prices of electricity transmission gear.

Siemens, Europe's biggest engineering company, received the biggest fine of 396.6 million euros, said the European Commission, the EU's Brussels-based antitrust authority, in a statement yesterday.

The agency also fined Japan's Hitachi Ltd 51.8 million euros, Mitsubishi Electric Corp 118.6 million euros, Toshiba Corp 90.9 million euros and Austria's VA Technologie AG, which Siemens bought in 2005, 22 million euros.

"The commission has put an end to a cartel which has cheated public utility companies and consumers for more than 16 years," Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in the statement.

The total penalty is the second-highest imposed by the commission for a cartel.

TAITRA plans banana workshop

The semi-official Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is planning to organize a workshop next week on the country's banana exports to Japan, its most important market for the fruit, TAITRA officials said yesterday.

Taiwan sold 14,500 tonnes of bananas to Japan last year, representing a 46.98 percent year-on-year growth. There was still ample room to expand banana exports, the officials said.

According to statistics, the total value of the nation's fresh fruit exports reached NT$34.32 million (US$1.04 million) last year, with 54 percent shipped to Japan, TAITRA officials said, noting that banana made up the bulk.

The workshop is scheduled to open Feb. 1 at the TAITRA office in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, and Japanese importers have been invited to attend.

NT dollar rises

The New Taiwan dollar traded higher against its US counterpart yesterday, rising NT$0.140 to close at NT$32.807 on the Taipei Forex Inc.

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