Fri, Feb 15, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Chi Mei approves investment

Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子), the nation's second-biggest liquid-crystal-display (LCD) maker, yesterday said that the board has approved a proposed US$131 million investment in its Chinese units to meet rising demand for slim-screen TVs and computer monitors.

Chi Mei planned to increase its investments in its LCD module and LCD TV assemblers in Foshan, Guangdong Province and Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, according to a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp.

The Tainan-based company told investors late last month that Chi Mei would have a significant growth this year as robust demand for LCD TVs and computer monitors may cause a supply constraint in the second half.

To cope with the demand, Chi Mei has raised its capital spending to NT$100 billion (US$3.1 billion) for this year, from NT$65 billion estimated previously by building a new next-generation plant.

The investments still need approvals from the government.

Green Energy plans buyback

Green Energy Technology Inc (綠能科技), the nation's top solar silicon wafer maker, planned to spend as much as NT$1.6 billion (US$50.47 million) to buy back 3 million shares, or 3.11 percent of its total capital shares, as solar stocks tumbled on worry about glut, according to a statement released yesterday.

Assuring investors his confidence on the solar industry, company president Lin Hur-lon (林和龍) said demand for solar cells remains strong, despite recent tumble on the financial sector, according to the statement.

Green Energy planned to buy those shares at price between NT$100 and NT$180 each during the two-month period ending April 14, the statement said.

The stocks repurchased will be paid to employees as bonus, the firm said.

Mediatek climbs by limit

Mediatek Inc (聯發科), Taiwan's largest chip designer, climbed by the daily limit in Taipei after Credit Suisse Group raised its investment rating on the stock to "outperform" and said the company has "passed the toughest period."

Mediatek gained 6.8 percent, the highest since Jan. 25, to NT$304.50 at the close of trade in Taipei, compared with a 4.2 percent gain in the benchmark TAIEX index.

The Hsinchu-based company last month said fourth-quarter earnings per share fell 5.5 percent from a year earlier to NT$6.13. Mediatek shares had declined 32 percent this year before today's advance, compared with an 11 percent slide in the TAIEX.

China Steel rises 21 percent

China Steel Corp (中鋼), the nation's largest and sole integrated steelmaker, yesterday said its January sales saw 21.75 percent growth from a year earlier to NT$20.04 billion.

The company said that, despite rising steel prices, last month's demand continued to see 3 percent growth from December to total 930,000 tonnes, with prices for the first quarter rising 5 percent to boost profits.

The company expects this month's sales to flatten as a result of fewer working days.

Baidu.com sales rise 79%

Baidu.com Inc (百度), China's leading search engine, said yesterday its fourth quarter profit rose 79 percent on strong revenue from online marketing.

For the three months ending Dec. 31, Baidu said it earned 219.8 million yuan (US$30.5 million), or 6.32 yuan per share. Quarterly revenue rose 110 percent to 571.1 million yuan.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected a profit of US$0.72 per share on US$77.1 million in revenue.

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