Fri, Aug 24, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

Commission approves merger

The Fair Trade Commission, yesterday approved the merger between the nation's second-largest convenience store chain operator Taiwan FamilyMart Co (全家便利商店) and unprofitable Taiwan Nikomart Co (福客多), citing no threat to free competition.

After the merger, Taiwan FamilyMart, the surviving entity, will have a combined 21.48 percent market share, which would not cause drastic change in the landscape of the nation's convenience store market, nor damage the public interest, the commission said.

Besides, the combination would offset Taiwan Nikomart's losses and boost Taiwan FamilyMart's operational efficiency by means of enlarging its scale, the commission said in a statement.

High Tech shares climb

High Tech Computer Corp (宏達電子), the world's largest maker of handsets using Microsoft Corp's Windows operating system, rose on Taiwan's stock exchange after a report said the company had won mobile-phone orders from Sprint Nextel Corp.

High Tech shares climbed for a second day, gaining 3.4 percent to NT$417 at the close of trade in Taipei.

Sprint Nextel, the third-largest US mobile-phone operator, will begin offering High Tech's new Vogue handset in the fourth quarter to compete with Apple Inc's iPhone, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported yesterday, without citing sources.

Vogue phones will use third-generation technology, providing faster data download speeds than the iPhone.

Bank needs investor soon: FSC

Cosmos Bank Taiwan (萬泰銀行), 10 percent owned by General Electric Co's consumer lending unit, must find an investor to boost its capital before the end of the month, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said.

"I understand they are still in talks with interested investors, but they must finalize the plan before the end of August or we will do what we need to do with them," the commission spokeswoman Susan Chang (張秀蓮) said in a phone interview.

One option is a takeover of the bank, Chang said.

SAC Capital Advisors LLC, the US$12 billion hedge fund company, is studying an investment in Cosmos through a private equity fund, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported yesterday.

Cosmos is seeking a capital injection of NT$27.3 billion (US$831 million) and the funds will help boost the bank's capital adequacy ratio to at least 12 percent, Cosmos said in April.

Macronix shares rise

Macronix International Co (旺宏電子), which makes chips that store songs and pictures in consumer electronic devices, saw shares rise to NT$20.85 on news that the company will become the sole supplier of encryption semiconductors for Nintendo Co.

The company will make encryption chips for Nintendo's Wii game consoles and portable DS players, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported yesterday, without citing anyone. Macronix spokesman Lin Yung-lung (林雲龍) confirmed Nintendo is a customer but declined to say whether the company produces encryption chips for the Japanese company.

Macronix said Nintendo is expected to account for 40 percent of sales this year, Lin said.

Formosa posts gain

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化), the nation's second-biggest fuel supplier, posted a 64 percent gain in first-half profit after the government eased controls over gasoline and diesel prices.

Net income jumped to NT$28.5 billion, or NT$3.08 a share, from NT$17.4 billion, or NT$1.88 a share, a year earlier, the company said yesterday.

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