Wed, Aug 15, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

TSMC releases finances

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) board yesterday approved financial statements for the first half of this year, with consolidated revenue totaling NT$139.815 billion (US$4.241 billion) in the six months ending June.

Consolidated net income reached NT$44.323 million over the same period, the world's largest contract chipmaker said in a statement released yesterday.

The board approved capital appropriations totaling US$59.8 million for development of 12-inch-wafer level-packaging technology and the capacity to meet market demand, TSMC spokesperson and vice president Lora Ho (何麗梅) said in the statement.

The board also gave the green light to capital appropriations totaling US$22.8 million for upgrading a monthly capacity of 12,600 eight-inch wafers in a 0.18 micron logic process to 11,100 eight-inch wafers capable of high voltage, radio frequency and BiCMOS processes, according to the statement.

No rise for DRAM chips

Global computer memory-chip prices will probably peak next month, earlier than predicted, because of slowing sales in China, according to the operator of Asia's largest semiconductor spot market.

DRAM computer chips "have not experienced an upswing" on the spot market even as contract market prices rose 3 percent to 5 percent this month, Taiwan's Dramexchange.com (集邦科技) said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

The average price of the benchmark DRAM chip fell 0.9 percent to close at US$2.15 yesterday.

HSBC to sell insurance

HSBC Holdings Plc's insurance arm has obtained approval from the Financial Supervisory Commission to sell life and investment-linked insurance in Taiwan.

HSBC will sell insurance policies as part of its range of wealth management products, HSBC Insurance (Asia Pacific) Holdings Ltd said in a statement.

"As Taiwan becomes more prosperous and as people live longer, the need to provide financial certainty for the future, for ourselves and our families, becomes more and more important," the firm's managing director, John Holden, said in the statement.

HSBC Insurance will commence sales of insurance through HSBC's eight bank branches in Taiwan, HSBC spokeswoman Deborah Chang (章純如) said.

Taiwan Coop's ratings affirmed

Fitch Ratings Corp yesterday affirmed Taiwan Cooperative Bank's (合作金庫銀行) ratings at "BBB+" for its long-term issuer default rating and "AA-(twn)" for its national long-term rating, with a stable outlook.

Fitch said Taiwan Cooperative's ratings primarily reflected its adequate capitalization, asset quality and liquidity profile, according to a statement issued yesterday.

Despite strong support from the government, Taiwan Cooperative has relatively weak core profitability and operational efficiency compared with local peers, Fitch said.

Bonds continue their advance

Bonds advanced for a third day on signs the central bank will halt its interest-rate increases on concern losses in the US mortgage market will slow the global economy.

"The central bank's attitude appears to be softening," said Bono Huang, a bond trader at President Securities Corp (統一證券). "The market looks nice today."

The benchmark 10-year bond price climbed 0.2199, or NT$219.9 per NT$100,000 face amount, to 95.7486, while the 10-year bond yield declined 2.6 basis points to 2.376 percent, according to the GRETAI Securities Market.

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