AU Optronics plans Q4 start
AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the nation’s No. 2 LCD panel maker, plans to start production at a solar wafer plant in Taiwan in the fourth quarter, parent AU Optronics said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
The company planned to move in equipment in August, with mass production scheduled to start in the fourth quarter.
The first phase of the project will have an annual capacity of 300 megawatts of ingots and wafers, the Hsinchu-based company said.
Central bank issues CDs
The central bank issued NT$442.4 billion (US$15.2 billion) in certificates of deposit (CD) yesterday, including NT$100 billion 364-day notes auctioned on Thursday, more than the NT$324.1 billion that matured, the bank said in a statement on its Web site yesterday.
The bank offered 30-day certificates at 0.74 percent, 91-day at 0.78 percent and 182-day at 0.88 percent, according to its statement.
Crude shipments fall
Taiwan, which imports more than 99 percent of its crude oil needs, reduced purchases of the fuel last month after a refiner shut plants for scheduled maintenance.
Shipments fell 19 percent from a year earlier to 25.3 million barrels, the Ministry of Finance said in Taipei yesterday. Last month’s crude oil bill dropped 4.4 percent to US$2.3 billion, the ministry said in a statement.
CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油), the nation’s state-owned oil company, shut its No. 11 crude distillation unit at its Talin refinery from Nov. 20 to Jan. 7 and its No. 1 crude unit in Taoyuan from Nov. 26 until Jan. 11 for maintenance, according to vice president Paul Chen (陳綠蔚).
The plants heat the fuel and separate it into oil products.
Semiconductor firm buys gear
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, bought NT$1.4 billion of equipment from two vendors, according to two separate company statements to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.
The company purchased NT$776 million of gear from Tokyo Electron Ltd and NT$623 million from Nexx Systems Inc, the Hsinchu-based company said.
Commodity import tariffs cut
The nation cut import tariffs for six months on seven commodities from yesterday as an anti-inflation measure, Lillian Hsieh, deputy -director-general of the Department of Customs Administration, said by telephone yesterday.
Tariffs on wheat were reduced by 50 percent and those on milk powder by 25 percent, she said.
NT dollar declines
The New Taiwan dollar had its biggest daily decline this year as the stock index dropped the most in five months.
“On the debt side, the stocks slump helped support the bond market today,” said Samson Tu, who helps manage US$1.6 billion of fixed-income securities in Taipei at Uni-President Assets Management Corp (統一投信).
“The local dollar has been outperforming regional currencies in the past few months,” Tu said.
The NT dollar fell 0.4 percent to NT$29.230 against its US counterpart as of the 4pm close, according to Taipei Forex Inc. It was the biggest daily decline since Dec. 31.
The currency slipped 0.1 percent for the week, the first five- day drop since November.
It has strengthened 3.9 percent so far this year, the best performance among Asia’s 10 most-traded currencies.