ASE board approves dividend
Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體), the world’s biggest chip packager, yesterday said its board had approved a proposal to distribute a cash dividend of NT$0.65 and a 14 percent stock dividend to its shareholders, according to a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Last year, ASE made NT$13.73 billion in net profit, or earnings per share of NT$2.08.
In a separate statement, ASE said it would merge with its fully-owned memory chip packaging subsidiary, PowerASE Technology Inc (日月鴻), to enhance operational efficiency and to better utilize resources.
The merger is set to take effect on May 1.
Formosa Epitaxy to sell shares
LED chipmaker Formosa Epitaxy Inc (璨圓) yesterday said it plans to sell as many as 60 million common shares via a private placement to potential strategic investors in order to sell more chips, a company statement filed with the Taiwan Stock Exchange said yesterday.
The company said a bond issue was also a possible option.
If Formosa Epitaxy chooses to sell bonds, it plans to issue US$60 million either at home or overseas.
The fund-raising proposal will be on the agenda of the company’s annual general shareholders’ meeting scheduled for July 19.
Acer board approves results
Acer Inc’s (宏碁) board yesterday approved its financial results for last year.
Acer, the world’s No. 4 PC brand, lost NT$6.6 billion last year. After two consecutive quarterly losses, the company returned to the black in the final quarter of the year, during which it eked out a profit of NT$0.1 billion.
Consolidated revenues dropped 24 percent year-on-year to NT$475.3 billion.
Acer said it planned to hold a shareholders’ meeting on June 15 in Taipei to approve the financial statement.
Investors look to Myanmar
Taiwanese investors operating in Southeast Asia are beginning to shift their attention to Myanmar, which is expected to implement more economic reforms after parliamentary by-elections on Sunday.
Myanmar has been moving toward economic liberalization since it ended decades of military rule to make way for a new civilian government last year.
The upcoming by-elections, in which democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi is running, could lead to an end to US and European sanctions, and more foreign investment.
At present, there are only about 100 Taiwanese businesses in Myanmar, most in the lumber, clothing, optical lenses, fiberglass and paper sectors.
Norman Chang (張峰豪), president of the Thai-Taiwan Business Association, said due to its geographical proximity to Thailand, Myanmar is a top choice for Thai-based Taiwanese investors who plan to expand or move their businesses out of Thailand, where labor costs are rising.
In addition to cheaper labor, land acquisition in Myanmar costs less, Chang said.
The large ethnic Chinese population in Myanmar also means fewer language barriers for Taiwanese investors, he added.
US data knocks NT dollar
The New Taiwan dollar weakened for the first time in three days as worse-than-expected US economic data sapped demand for riskier assets.
The NT dollar fell 0.04 percent to NT$29.582 against the greenback, according to Taipei Forex Inc. Turnover was US$668 million.
The currency has appreciated 2.4 percent this quarter. One-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange rate swings which traders use to price options, was unchanged at 4 percent.