Fri, Jul 06, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

eserves reach US$266 billion

Taiwan's foreign exchange reserves reached US$266.052 billion at the end of last month, up from US$265.70 billion in May, the central bank said yesterday.

The month-on-month US$353 million increase was mainly attributable to a net foreign capital inflow, the central bank said in a statement.

Tele Atlas NV flies in van

Digital cartographer Tele Atlas NV has brought its first orange mapping van to Asia as a part of its effort to collect global data for portable, Internet, in-car and wireless navigation systems.

CEO Alain de Taeye said yesterday the Dutch-based company will eventually operate 50 of the vehicles throughout the region.

Tele Atlas, founded in 1984, competes with US-based Navteq Corp to provide digital mapping data to major companies including Microsoft Corp, Yahoo Inc, MapQuest and Google Inc.

The bright orange sport utility vehicle shown in Taipei -- flown in from Belgium a few days ago -- was laden with six high resolution cameras, Global Positioning System receivers, laser scanners and onboard computers.

Tele Atlas vans gather data for standard two-dimensional maps for car navigation systems and handheld devices.

Taiwan Ratings revises outlook

Taiwan Ratings Corp (中華信評) yesterday revised its outlook on the long-term credit rating of "twA" on Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車) to negative from stable. It also affirmed its long-term "twA" and short-term "twA-1" credit ratings on Yulon Motor, which assembles cars for the nation's third-largest automaker Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產).

The negative outlook reflects the likelihood that Yulon Motor's profitability will remain under pressure, on the back of the nation's sluggish automotive market, Taiwan Ratings said.

The long-term corporate credit rating may be lowered if Yulon Motor's declining market position sees its sales of Nissan cars fall below third place in the domestic car market, it said.

Firich to sell assembly unit

Firich Enterprises Co Ltd (伍豐科技), a Taiwanese gaming machine maker, said it plans to sell its assembly unit in Shanghai to Singapore-listed LottVision Ltd for between 15 percent and 20 percent of LottVision.

Firich has promised that the Shanghai unit will post a net profit of no less than HK$30 million (US$3.8 million) in the coming year beginning July 1, Firich said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Eastern Media rates negative

Fitch Ratings said yesterday it has placed Eastern Media International Corp's (東森國際) "BB" Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating and "BBB+(twn)" National Long-term rating on Rating Watch Negative.

The move reflects potential deterioration of EMI's liquidity profile due to impaired reputation caused by its chairman in custody, as well as concerns on the likely impact on profitability and cash flow as a result of increased capital expenditure (capex) on its real estate, and a reduced size of its bulk shipping fleet, Fitch said in a statement yesterday.

Fitch noted that the company's reputation has been adversely affected by its chairman, Gary Wang (王令麟), who allegedly has been involved in treachery, embezzlement and bid rigging in activities related to Eastern Multimedia Group (東森多媒體) and Asia Pacific Broadband Telecom Co (亞太固網).

New Taiwan dollar drops

The New Taiwan dollar lost ground against its US counterpart yesterday, declining NT$0.021 to close at NT$32.789. Turnover was US$724.5 million.

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