NT dollar retreats
The New Taiwan dollar dropped yesterday, snapping a three-day gain, as government reports showed factory output and export orders fell more than economists estimated.
The latest economic data showed that industrial production shrank 8.15 percent last month from a year earlier, the biggest contraction since August 2009, while export orders edged down 0.72 percent during the same period, the first decline since 2009.
“In terms of growth around the region, Taiwan looks to be one of the more affected economies by what’s happening in other parts of the world and this data certainly isn’t helping,” said Jonathan Cavenagh, a currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp in Singapore.
The NT dollar slipped 0.2 percent to NT$29.99 against its US counterpart, according to Taipei Forex Inc.
Turnover totaled US$629 million during the last trading session before the Lunar New Year holiday from tomorrow to Jan. 29.
“It’s very quiet today,” Union Bank of Taiwan (聯邦銀行) currency trader Tarsicio Tong (湯健揚) said. “The [New] Taiwan dollar should remain at current levels and hover at about NT$30.”
Giant recalls two models
Giant Inc (巨大集團) has recalled two bicycle models sold in the US because of fork design flaws, the company said yesterday.
Giant took the step voluntarily after discovering that the fork could break and pose a fall hazard to riders, company spokesman Jeffrey Sheu (許立忠) said.
To date, there have been no reported incidents or injuries because of the design flaw, Sheu said.
All this year’s Men’s Giant Defy Advanced bicycles and Women’s Giant Avail Advanced bicycles — numbering about 900 units — will be recalled, the company said.
The decision is not expected to have a major financial impact on the company, which sells 300,000 bicycles a year in the US, Sheu said.
Yani Tseng endorses Acer
Acer Inc (宏碁), the world’s No. 4 computer maker, announced on Thursday that world No. 1 female golfer Yani Tseng (曾雅妮) would act as its global spokeswoman.
Tseng’s powerful swing, accurate drive, tough mentality and stable performance highlight the qualities of Acer’s products to consumers, the company said in a statement.
Tseng, who turns 23 on Monday, said in the statement that she would like to make the Taiwanese brand more globally visible through international golf events.
Acer did not elaborate on the length of the contract or the endorsement fee, but it was speculated that the fee was more than US$1 million.
Acer’s selection of Tseng to endorse the company’s products came after it renewed its contract with Washington Nationals pitcher Wang Chien-ming (王建民) late last year.
Wang will be the brand’s spokesman in Taiwan for the eighth straight year.
Ruentex buys into Global Mobile
Taiwanese chemical fiber maker Ruentex Industries Ltd (潤泰全球) yesterday said it bought 116.2 million Global Mobile Corp (全球一動) shares for NT$1.16 billion, according to a Taiwan Stock Exchange statement.
The purchase of Global Mobile shares will increase Ruentex Industries’ stakeholding in the domestic WiMAX operator to 51.39 percent from an initial 3.96 percent.
Ruentex Industries, headed by Samuel Yin (尹衍樑), said the share purchase in Global Mobile was for investment purposes, according to the statement.
Cathay buys six new planes
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) yesterday said it had agreed to buy six Airbus long-haul aircraft for less than US$1.63 billion as part of its expansion plans.