Formosa Plastics posts first loss
Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑), the world’s second-biggest maker of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, posted its first quarterly loss in seven years as product prices declined because of the global recession.
The company swung to a loss of NT$14.6 billion (US$427 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31 from a profit of NT$11 billion a year earlier, Bloomberg News calculations showed, based on the company’s full-year results in a stock exchange filing yesterday.
Formosa Plastics, whose full-year profit fell 59 percent to NT$19.7 billion, plans to pay a cash dividend of NT$1.80 per share on its earnings from last year, together with a stock dividend of seven shares for every 100 shares held by investors. That compares with an all-cash payout of NT$6.7 a share a year earlier.
Formosa Plastics plans to sell NT$10 billion in bonds to repay short-term debt, the company said in a separate stock exchange filing yesterday.
Sogo to open Tianmu outlet
Pacific Sogo Department Stores Co (太平洋崇光百貨) is scheduled to open its Tianmu outlet on May 23 and aimed to generate revenue of NT$4.5 billion (US$131 million) in the first year, reports said yesterday.
Pacific Sogo will become the third department store to enter the Tianmu area, after Dayeh Takashimaya Department Store (大葉高島屋) and Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store (新光三越).
Dayeh Takashimaya’s annual revenue is around NT$6 billion, and Shin Kong Mitsukoshi made NT$2.5 billion in sales last year, reports said. With the addition of Pacific Sogo, the three department stores are expected to generate revenues over NT$12 billion a year, the report said.
The Pacific Sogo Tianmu building will have eight floors above ground and four basement floors.
FSC approves Sony office
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said it allowed Japan’s Sony Life Insurance Co, a unit of Sony Corp, to open a representative office in Taiwan, a commission statement said yesterday.
The insurance unit has capital of ¥70 billion (US$708 million) and a total assets of ¥3.78 trillion, the statement said.
The regulator’s approval will bring the number of foreign insurance companies that have set up representative offices in Taiwan to 14, the statement said.
LG procured US$1.5bn in 2008
LG Electronics Inc, South Korea’s second-largest electronics maker, procured products worth US$1.5 billion from Taiwan last year, with panel procurement accounting for US$1 billion, a company official said yesterday.
LG Electronics Taiwan chief Baek Myeong-won said the company would retain its budget for panel procurement at US$1 billion this year, adding that LG would purchase between 300,000 and 500,000 panels a month, with half from AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電) and half from Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子).
IBM loses bid to ban Asustek
International Business Machines Corp (IBM) lost a ruling in its bid to ban US imports of computers, motherboards and graphics cards made by Asustek Computer Inc (華碩).
US International Trade Commission Judge Theodore Essex found that Asustek didn’t infringe on three patents owned by IBM, the world’s biggest computer-services provider. IBM said it would likely ask the full six-member commission in Washington to review the judge’s findings.
IBM had claimed that Asustek is using its patented technology for improved power supplies to computers, a cooling system and a way of clustering computers together so they operate as a single unit.
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Apple Inc’s decision to stop using Intel Corp processors in its Mac computers and switching to its own chips might benefit Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and boost Taiwan’s high-tech exports, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) said in a note on Tuesday. The US tech giant announced the “Apple silicon” initiative at its annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference, which started on Monday. The company said the first Mac powered by its own chips would debut by the end of this year and all product lines might shift to the new architecture in the next two years. TSMC is likely to
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Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not