Thu, May 01, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Ma’s remarks soothe investors

Share prices closed 0.32 percent higher yesterday as investors welcomed president-elect Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) assurance that he is committed to expanding trade ties with China, dealers said.

Ma’s comments eased worries triggered by the appointment of a pro-independence politician to head the Mainland Affairs Council, they said.

The weighted index closed up 28.18 points at 8,919.92, off a low of 8,882.57 and a high of 8,962.99. Turnover was NT$148.44 billion (US$4.87 billion).

Decliners outnumbered advancers 1,347 to 991, with 318 stocks unchanged. A total of 22 stocks closed limit-up, while 30 were limit-down.

Mediatek’s forecast is flat

Mediatek Inc (聯發科) said yesterday it expects its second-quarter profit margin to be flat from the first quarter.

The forecast came after Mediatek, which supplies chips for mobile phones, DVD players and flat-screen TVs, made a net profit of NT$4.03 billion in the first quarter.

Asustek Q1 income rises 7%

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) said yesterday that its first quarter net income rose 7 percent to NT$7.23 billion on robust sales for its laptop PCs and motherboards, higher than NT$6.73 billion a year ago and up from NT$6.43 billion in the fourth quarter.

The company predicted robust demand for its branded and low-cost notebook PCs in the second quarter. It forecast second-quarter shipments of 1.3 million to 1.4 million of its own Asus-branded notebook PCs, up 3 percent to 8 percent from the first quarter and a 60 percent rise from the year-ago period.

Asustek also forecast second-quarter shipments of 1.2 million to 1.3 million of its recently introduced low-cost line of Eee PCs, up 70 percent to 80 percent from the previous quarter.

SMIC stops DRAM production

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯) said yesterday that it stopped making dynamic random access memory, or DRAM, chips in March.

The company plans to convert its production capacity for DRAM to more profitable logic chips used in mobile phones and digital cameras, chief executive Richard Chang (張汝京) said.

The DRAM market has been suffering its worst downturn since 2001, with the average spot price of mainstream DRAM chips plunging nearly 60 percent in the past year amid a supply glut.

Chang’s comments came after SMIC reported on Tuesday that it swung to a first-quarter net loss of US$119.1 million, reversing a net profit of US$8.8 million a year earlier.

Revenue for the three months that ended on March 31 fell 6.7 percent to US$362.4 million from US$388.3 million. SMIC said it expects revenue to fall another 3-6 percent in the second quarter compared with the first quarter.

CPC Corp to invest in Canada

State-run CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) plans to invest NT$24 billion in Canadian oil sands exploration and development as fuel demand increases.

The investment will be made over five years, the company said in a statement on its Web site on Tuesday, without naming potential partners in the project.

CPC, which has investments in oil and gas fields in Asia, Africa and Latin America, plans to more than double reserves in five years.

NT dollar dips

The New Taiwan dollar dropped against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, declining NT$0.041 to close at NT$30.449. A total of US$1.346 billion changed hands during trading.

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