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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
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
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