Sat, Nov 15, 2008 - Page 11 News List

[BUSINESS BRIEFS]

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Gas, diesel prices to drop

Domestic gasoline and diesel prices will be lowered by NT$1.3 and NT$1.4 per liter respectively, effective today, state-owned oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) announced yesterday.

CPC aligns its oil prices by using energy information provider Platt’s reports on average petroleum prices from Dubai and Brent with a 70 percent and 30 percent allocation, the oil giant disclosed.

After the adjustment, CPC’s price for a liter of 98-octane unleaded gasoline will be NT$23.9, 95-octane unleaded gasoline will be NT$22.4 and 92-octane unleaded gasoline will be NT$21.7. Diesel will be priced at NT$18.5.

UMC surges on speculation

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world’s second-largest maker of custom chips, surged by the daily limit in Taipei trading on speculation that the company may acquire Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd (特許)

UMC climbed 6.9 percent to close at NT$8.35 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, after its US-traded shares jumped 39 percent overnight.

“There has been lots of speculation in the market” about an acquisition, said Kenneth Lee (李克揚), a technology analyst at Primasia Securities Ltd in Taipei. “It’s quite possible that United Microelectronics will buy Charter, given its strong cash flow.”

The Hsinchu-based chipmaker reported that it had NT$25.2 billion (US$761 million) in cash and equivalents as of Sept. 30, compared with NT$25.4 billion at the end of June.

“We don’t comment on rumors,” Alex Hinnawi, a spokesman at UMC said.

Asian exports set for big drop

Exports from Asia’s developing economies may decline 20 percent over the next year as a deepening global slowdown hurts demand for the region’s products, Nomura International (HK) Ltd said.

“In September 2008, aggregate exports for Asia ex-Japan grew by 21 percent year-on-year,” Robert Subbaraman, an economist at Nomura in Hong Kong, wrote in a report on Thursday. “In 12 months time, we would not be surprised if the number is about the same, but with a negative sign in front of it.”

Exports from Asia’s emerging economies have held up until recently, as shipments to other destinations made up for weaker sales to the US. That’s changing as the economic downturn becomes “global and synchronized,” and a slump in commodity prices erodes incomes in oil-producing nations, Subbaraman said.

Phone targets young children

Samsung Electronics Co launched a cellphone for children under 10 years old yesterday.

Available in six colors, and made of recyclable and biodegradable plastic, Samsung Tobi is made for environmentally conscious children who value function as well as aesthetics.

Samsung has built in various safety functions such as SOS Call, SOS Message and Fake Call Samsung Tobi to appeal to parents with young children.

“Using these safety features, users can be directly linked to their family members and friends in emergency situations and escape from dangerous situations. With Samsung Tobi, parents are always assured that their children are equipped with safety tools to keep them as secure as possible,” the company said.

Tobi is availabe in Italy and the UK, and will be in Taiwanese stores before the end of this year.

NT dollar closes higher

The New Taiwan dollar gained ground against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, rising NT$0.098 to close at NT$33.079. A total of US$725 million changed hands during the day’s trading.

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