Sun, May 04, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■AVIATION

Air Asia suspends visit

AirAsia Bhd representatives have decided to suspend a planned visit to cash-strapped Far Eastern Air Transport Co (FAT, 遠東航空) scheduled from tomorrow to Thursday because of “unpredictable factors,” FAT said in a stock exchange filing on Friday. The company said it regretted any investment uncertainty generated by a spate of negative news that posed more downside risks to potential investors, the filing said. FAT said last week that AirAsia of Malaysia and Jetstar Asia Airways Private Ltd of Singapore had expressed interest in investing in FAT. But the company had not received any further information from Jetstar thus far, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported yesterday, citing company sources.

■REAL ESTATE

Housing price hikes slowing

Housing market conditions in the greater Taipei area have been increasingly returning to normal since late last month, as the general public is now more reserved about purchasing houses following warnings by experts, a real estate broker said yesterday. The most recent wave of housing price hikes has been showing signs of abating since late last month, Sinyi Real Estate Inc (信義房屋) said. Statistics compiled by the company showed that the value of house deals in Taipei City fell by 15 percent last month as compared with the March level, although the figure still marks a nearly 40 percent growth year-on-year.

■INVESTMENT

No timetable on China cap

Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘), economics minister-designate, would not offer a timetable on Friday for removing restrictions on China-bound investment by Taiwanese firms, but said the incoming Cabinet would address the issue as soon as possible after its inauguration on May 20. Investment in China is currently limited to up to 40 percent of their net worth. Yiin said that complementary measures were required for relaxing the China-bound investment cap, which he said would be eased step by step. He said the new Cabinet would give overall consideration to the specific characteristics of different business sectors when reviewing the measure.

■TRADE

Free zone business booming

Business in Taiwan’s free trade port and air cargo zones grew threefold last year to NT$62.85 billion (US$2.06 billion), an indication of the dynamism of the duty free zones, the Cabinet-level Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) reported on Friday. The strong growth continued in the first quarter of this year, with free trade zones totaling NT$23 billion in sales, a 150 percent increase year-on-year, CEPD statistics showed. CEPD Vice Chairman Thomas Yeh (葉明峰), who doubles as the executive secretary of a free trade zone coordination panel under the council, said the rapid growth is a sign that operations in the country’s port free trade zones are set to expand after a two-year trial period.

■ELECTRONICS

Samsung settles disputes

Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s biggest maker of computer memory chips, settled patent disputes over the dynamic random access memory chips with Renesas Technology Corp, a joint venture of Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Corp and Hitachi Ltd. Notices of the agreement were filed in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, and with the US International Trade Commission in Washington. The agreement was reached on April 25, court documents said. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

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