Regulator finds Wang's assets
The nation's financial regulator has tracked down NT$90 million in Europe-based assets owned by fugitive business tycoon Wang You-theng (王又曾), former chairman of bankrupt Rebar Group (力霸集團).
The group's bank debtors are seeking ways to claim Wang's assets to repay debts he left in Taiwan, Financial Supervisory Commission Vice Chairwoman Susan Chang (張秀蓮) told a press conference yesterday, refusing to give details.
Lotte expands in China
Lotte Shopping Co, South Korea's largest retailer, said it plans to acquire a stake in a discount-store operator in China as it expands in the world's fastest-growing major economy.
Lotte agreed to pay 57.6 million euros (US$83.2 million) for the 49 percent stake in CTA Makro (中貿聯萬客隆) to SHV Holdings NV, which operates the Chinese venture, the Seoul-based retailer said in a regulatory filing yesterday.
CTA Makro, in which China Trade Association Property Corp Ltd (中貿聯置業有限公司) owns the remaining 51 percent stake, now operates five discount stores in Beijing and two in Tianjin.
The stake purchase is pending approval from the Chinese government, the statement said.
Kingfisher sells B&Q shares
Kingfisher Plc, Europe's largest home-improvement retailer, agreed to sell its half of B&Q Taiwan to its joint venture partner, Test Rite International (特力股份有限公司), for US$106.5 million in cash.
The Taiwanese unit was founded in 1996 and has 21 stores employing 1,800 people, the London-based company said in a Regulatory News Service statement yesterday. Kingfisher said it will use the proceeds to reduce debt.
"B&Q Taiwan now [only] offers only limited opportunities for future market-share growth," Peter Jackson, chairman of Kingfisher, said in the statement.
Green Energy postpones debut
Green Energy Technology Inc (綠能科技), the nation's biggest solar silicon wafer maker, decided to postpone the initial public offering of its shares on Taiwan's main bourse until the first half of next year, citing a poor stock market, the company said in a statement released yesterday.
The company was scheduled to launch the IPO next Monday. The company stressed it would not slow its expansion next year because of the delay in debuting its shares.
Yesterday, Green Energy obtained a NT$3.5 billion (US$107.75 million) in syndicated loans from 14 banks led by Taipei Fubon Bank (台北富邦銀行) to fund a new 8.5-generation factory with a monthly output of 30 megawatts. The plant is expected to be completed in April next year.
Standard lowers GDP forecast
Standard Chartered Taiwan yesterday revised downward its forecast on the nation's GDP growth next year to 3.8 percent from its earlier estimate of 4.2 percent in July.
It also forecast this year's GDP to level at 5.3 percent.
The bank's chief economist Tony Phoo (符銘財) yesterday warned that the nation will face numerous economic challenges next year including rising inflation and a local economic slowdown, which is triggered by the US subprime crisis, to worsen the prospect on corporate earnings.
He urged the government to soon find ways to spur the economy although he is confident that the inflation rate can be contained below 2 percent next year.
Phoo also predicted the central bank will raise its benchmarket interest rate 0.125 percentage points to 3.375 percent this Thursday.
NT dollar drops
The New Taiwan dollar yesterday dropped by NT$0.105 to trade at NT$32.481 against the greenback on turnover of US$968 million.
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a
Taipei 101, one of the nation’s leading shopping centers, is planning to reduce its business hours due to decreased demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Taipei 101 is to open daily at noon and close at 9pm from April 6, building management said in a statement on Monday. The shopping center has been opening at 11am and closing at 9:30pm from Sunday to Thursday, while closing at 10pm on Friday and Saturday. The restaurants in the food court — on the basement level — would adjust their business hours as necessary, but the supermarket would continue to open at 9am daily, management said. The shopping