Wed, Feb 14, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Gas, diesel prices cut

State-run CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) announced yesterday that it would cut wholesale gasoline and diesel prices by NT$0.2 per liter as of this morning.

The adjusted retail price for 98-octane unleaded gasoline is NT$28, while 95-octane gasoline will cost NT$26.5, 92-octane gasoline will cost NT$25.8 and top-grade diesel oil will be NT$22.7 per liter, the company said in a statement yesterday.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) said it would lower its prices to match CPC Taiwan's, effective 10pm yesterday.

Chi Mei links with Neurok

Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子), the nation's second-largest maker of flat-panel displays, said it has formed a venture with Neurok Optics, LLC to make game-console screens that display three-dimensional images.

The venture, based in San Diego, California, will begin shipping its products in May, Chi Mei said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The Tainan-based panel maker and Neurok each hold 50 percent of the venture.

The statement didn't say how much the companies were investing in the venture.

BNP Paribas gets green light

BNP Paribas has obtained approval from the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to issue the second batch of foreign currency-denominated bonds in the nation's offshore bond exchange, the Formosa Bond market, the commission said yesterday.

This batch of bond could amount to as high as A$500 million (US$386 million) with an indefinite date for listing, the FSC said.

"There have been several foreign banks interested in issuing the third batch of bonds and so on that came and talked to market regulators," said Sam Chang (張振山), a deputy director at the Securities and Futures Bureau.

Taiwan's first foreign currency-denominated bond, worth US$250 million, was issued by Deutsche Bank and hit the market on Nov. 1 last year.

Between Nov. 1 and last Tuesday, outright trading amounted to US$24.56 million while conditional trading totaled US$553.79 million, the commission said.

HTC's rating raised

High Tech Computer Corp (HTC, 宏達電), the world's largest maker of mobile phones using Microsoft Corp's Windows operating system, was upgraded to ``neutral'' by Credit Suisse Group, which cited limited downside for the stock.

HTC shares rose 4.8 percent to close at NT$504 (US$15.24). The stock fell 25 percent this year as of yesterday's close, lagging behind a 0.6 percent decline in the TAIEX.

"We believe the current share price is already pricing in a rather bearish scenario and does not leave significant downside potential," Credit Suisse analysts Felix Rusli and Vivian Jang wrote in a report yesterday.

The analysts, who raised the rating from "underperform," kept the 12-month price target at NT$500, adding that "The chance of a cash distribution to shareholders is higher now than in the past. This is likely to lend an additional support to the share price."

ChipMOS buys unit's shares

ChipMOS Technologies Ltd (南茂科技), a Hsinchu-based packager and tester of microchips, said it will buy all of its ChipMOS Taiwan unit's shares owned by Siliconware Precision Industries Co (矽品精密工業) for US$191 million.

ChipMOS will also issue 12.2 million of its own shares to Siliconware Precision for about US$76 million, the firm said in a statement yesterday. The deal gives Siliconware Precision a 14.7 percent stake in ChipMOS, the firm said.

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