Wed, Nov 14, 2012 - Page 14 News List

TSMC board gives green light to spending proposal

ALL CLEAR:A proposal to issue unsecured corporate bonds in Taiwan, for an amount not exceeding NT$45 billion, to fund production capacity was also approved

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday said its board had approved US$2.975 billion in capital spending as it aims to increase its advanced technology process capacity.

The funds would also allow the Hsinchu-based company to construct “12-inch GigaFabs” and install “facilities systems,” TSMC said in a statement.

“Gigafab” refers to a facility that has a production capacity of more than 100,000 12-inch wafers per month. The statement did not specify which of the firm’s 12-inch facilities would be upgraded.

The world’s biggest contract chipmaker currently operates two 12-inch gigafab facilities — Fab 12 in Hsinchu and Fab 14 in Greater Tainan.

It broke ground on a new gigafab facility — Fab 15 in Greater Taichung — in July 2010 and started producing 28-nanometer products for customers in the third quarter of last year.

TSMC said its board also agreed to earmark US$209.5 million for advanced technology and research and development for next year, according to the statement.

In addition, the board yesterday approved a proposal to issue unsecured corporate bonds in Taiwan, for an amount not exceeding NT$45 billion (US$1.53 billion), to help fund its production capacity, the statement said.

The planned bond sale comes as the chipmaker is stepping up capital spending on new technologies to safeguard its market leadership.

Last month, TSMC said it planned to maintain its capital spending next year at a record high of US$8.3 billion in view of rising demand for the company’s advanced chips used mainly in smartphones and tablets.

During yesterday’s meeting, the board also approved TSMC’s share subscription plans for two of its green energy subsidiaries next year.

The chipmaker will buy NT$1.24 billion of new shares in TSMC Solid State Lighting Ltd (台積固態照明) and NT$636 million of new shares in TSMC Solar Ltd (台積太陽能), the statement said.

TSMC set up the subsidiaries last year as part of its effort to supplement the growth of its chipmaking business.

TSMC shares fell 1.10 percent to NT$90.3 in Taipei trading yesterday, up 19.13 percent so far this year, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

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