AUO fundraising approved
Flatscreen maker AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) yesterday said its board had approved a fundraising plan to issue 950 million common shares via a private placement. The company plans to use the proceeds to finance the development of advanced LCD manufacturing technologies and improve the company’s financial structure, the company said in a statement. The new shares could also be issued in the form of convertible bonds or as a rights issue at home or abroad, depending on market conditions, the company said. The board also proposed to issue a cash dividend of NT$0.15 to shareholders on last year’s earnings.
Flash demand to stay slow
The demand momentum for flash memory chips (NAND flash) is expected to remain sluggish throughout the first half of the year, as many new smart devices will not be released until the third quarter, market researcher TrendForce said in a research note. Last month alone, NAND flash contract prices dropped nearly 14 percent from the previous month, TrendForce said, predicting that demand for the first quarter will grow only 1.1 percent from the prior quarter. “The oversupply situation will likely persist even as the NAND flash suppliers begin halting their expansion efforts,” the research firm said, adding that chip prices are likely to weaken even further.