Fri, Jun 27, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Taiwan Business Quick Take

Staff writer, with agencies

US data boost NT dollar

The New Taiwan dollar strengthened to an 11-week high as worse-than-expected economic data spurred speculation that the US Federal Reserve would keep interest rates lower for longer.

On Wednesday, the US government said the economy contracted 2.9 percent in the first quarter from the preceding three months, the worst data since 2009 and compared with a 1.8 percent shrinkage estimated by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

“The US GDP data was quite disastrous,” said Michelle Tsai (蔡素菁), a Taipei-based economist at Jih Sun Securities Co (日盛證券). “The Fed may only raise interest rates next year. Foreign funds have also been entering Asian markets, including Taiwan.”

The NT dollar appreciated 0.2 percent to close at NT$29.992 against its US counterpart yesterday, according to Taipei Forex Inc. The currency touched NT$29.933 earlier, its strongest level since April 10.

SME loans hit NT$102.9bn

Outstanding loans extended by domestic banks to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) totaled NT$102.9 billion (US$3.43 billion) in the first five months of the year, the Financial Supervisory Commission said yesterday.

The commission said the amount accounted for about 42.87 percent of the government’s goal for loans to total NT$240 billion this year.

As of the end of last month, total outstanding loans to SMEs stood at NT$4.86 trillion, which made up 53.86 percent of the total lending by the local banking sector to corporate clients, the commission said.

Taipei hosts medical congress

The World Medical Tourism Congress opened yesterday in Taipei, the first time it has been held in Taiwan, to discuss a variety of healthcare issues and showcase the nation’s development of medical services.

The two-day congress attracted more than 400 participants, including 100 from Japan, China, India, Singapore, Thailand, Nigeria and Pakistan, according to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, which co-organized the event with the US-based Medical Tourism Association.

Last year, Taiwan hosted more than 200,000 foreign travelers seeking medical treatment, and revenue from the medical tourism industry is expected to reach NT$13 billion (US$434 million) this year, government data showed

Powertech dividend approved

Powertech Technology Inc (力成), which provides testing and packaging services for memory chipmakers, yesterday said its shareholders approved a cash dividend of NT$2 per common share, allocating NT$1.53 billion of accumulated profits.

The Hukou (湖口), Hsinchu County-based company last year lost NT$4 billion due to a US$196 million fee to settle a patent lawsuit with US chipmaker Tessera Technologies Inc.

Powertech chairman Tsai Du-kung (蔡篤恭) was also re-elected to the board of directors for another three years. That paves the way for Tsai to win re-election as the firm’s chairman at the next board meeting.

HTC touting ‘Android L’

HTC Corp (宏達電) said on Wednesday that two models of its flagship One series will receive updates of the latest version of Google’s Android operating system, currently nicknamed “Android L,” soon after the final release is made public.

HTC said in a blog post that the company is excited about the new features in the Android L, which Google said would be faster, more secure and more battery-efficient.

The company is still in the pre-evaluation phase of the new operating system.

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