Fri, Jul 20, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Power demand soars

Electricity consumption climbed to a record high yesterday for the second time this year as rising temperatures increased the use of air conditioners.

Power demand hit 32,830 megawatts at 1:41pm, the state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said in an e-mailed statement.

That surpassed the previous record of 32,660 megawatts set on July 9. Temperatures in Taipei reached 36.4oC yesterday, compared with the average high of 34.1oC for July, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Reserve margin, or spare capacity over peak demand, fell to 6.9 percent yesterday, according to Clint Chou (周義岳), a public relations officer at Taipower.

That was less than half of the government's target of 16 percent.

FTC okays Dopod purchase

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) yesterday approved High Tech Computer Corp's (HTC, 宏達電) application to buy mobile phone brand Dopod International Corp (多普達).

HTC, the world's biggest maker of handsets running on Microsoft Corp's operating system, said it would Dopod's Asia operations -- excluding China -- in a deal worth US$14.5 million in May.

The commission said in a statement that the mobile phone market has seen fierce competition from numerous domestic and foreign brands.

Nokia and Motorola were the two best-selling brands in the country last year.

"As the two parties in the merger deal do not command high market shares, the commission believes the deal will not create a monopoly effect or impair competition," the FTC statement said and so the merger application was approved in line with Article 12-1 of the Fair Trade Act (公平交易法).

Ho Tung seeks Sinopec fab

Taipei-based Ho Tung Chemical Corp (和桐化學) said yesterday that it was in talks with Chinese partner Sinopec Group (中國石化) to buy a factory of China's second-biggest oil producer before its wholly owned holding company goes public in Hong Kong.

The holding company is headquartered in British Virgin Islands (BVI).

"We plan to buy a fabrication from Sinopec. But we are not in a rush as we can wait for a better price," Ho Tung chairman Preston Chen (陳武雄) said yesterday.

The chemical maker plans to have its BVI-based holding firm subsidiary, Bao Tze, make its initial public offering in Hong Kong after the factory deal is reached, Chen said.

He did not give further details of capitalization or a timeframe.

The firm has to raise money overseas to bypass the government's restriction on China-bound investment that caps companies investments at 40 percent of their net worth, Chen said.

Ho Tung invested 60 percent of a petrochemical joint venture with Sinopec seven to eight years ago in China.

The venture generated sales of NT$4.8 billion last year.

Business in China contributed US$570 million to Ho Tung, whose consolidated sales amounting to NT$38.9 billion (US$1.2 billion) last year.

"Our business in China grows very fast," Chen said.

CMC to set up solar cell firm

The board of CMC Magnetics Corp (中環), the world's second-largest maker of recordable compact discs (CD-Rs), yesterday approved a proposal to set up a solar cell affiliate, Sunwell Technology Corp (富陽光電), and tap into the fast-growing green energy industry.

The new solar cell maker will have NT$700 million in capital and was scheduled to start mass production some time next year, CMC said.

Sunwell's plant will be located in Taoyuan County, it said.

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