Wed, May 07, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares up in thin trade

Taiwanese shares closed up 0.23 percent in thin trade yesterday following a weaker close on Wall Street as oil prices hit a new record above US$120 a barrel, dealers said.

The weighted index closed up 20.30 points, or 0.23 percent, at 8,857.37, off a low of 8,782.96 and a high of 8,862.50. Turnover was NT$135.23 billion (US$4.43 billion).

On the foreign exchange market, the NT dollar gained NT$0.008 to close at NT$30.490 against the greenback.

A total of US$966 million changed hands on the Taipei Forex Inc.

Government sells bonds

The government sold NT$30 billion (US$984 million) in 20-year bonds at a yield of 2.748 percent, higher than the rate at the last sale of comparable debt.

The yield in the previous sale on Feb. 12 was 2.605 percent. Yesterday’s auction drew bids equal to 1.87 times the debt on offer, according to a central bank statement yesterday. Comparable debt at the previous auction drew bids 1.56 times that on offer.

Chunghwa in Vietnam venture

The nation’s largest telecom operator Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday said it had formed a joint venture with Vietnamese telecom carrier Viettel Inc to offer Internet data services.

Chunghwa Telecom aims to grasp a business opportunity amid rapid growth in the Vietnamese economy and in the information technology industry in particular, according to the company’s filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Chunghwa Telecom would have a 30 percent stake in the venture, Viettel-Cht Co Ltd, which would have US$30 million in capital.

Chip sector earnings decline

Among the 1,200 publicly traded companies, listed companies in the local semiconductor sector saw the biggest year-on-year decline in earnings in the first quarter, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said yesterday.

“The sector’s own business cycles and a strong local currency was the cause of its first-quarter losses,” the FSC press statement said, without giving an exact figure.

Citing first-quarter financial reports filed by listed companies, the FSC said that these companies suffered a combined before-tax loss of NT$42.7 billion in the first quarter, or a 113.76 percent drop from one year earlier.

As of March, the net worth of five listed companies dropped below half of their capitalization, and the FSC was expecting to impose penalties, the statement added.

Trio to make larger wafers

Intel Corp, Samsung Electronics Co and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) struck an agreement to combine to create larger chip wafers.

The companies plan to start switching to 450mm wafers in 2012, according to a statement released on Monday.

Larger wafers make more efficient use of energy and water, allowing companies to produce chips at less cost.

Chips selling for more

Computer memory chipmakers raised prices at the highest level in 10 months, DRAMeXchange Technology Inc (集邦科技) said, helping the industry recover from a glut that caused more than US$3 billion in losses this year.

Chipmakers increased average prices of benchmark DRAM chips by 13 percent to US$1.06 during the first half of this month, the biggest raise since last July, according to the Taipei-based DRAMeXchange, operator of Asia’s biggest spot market for the chips.

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