Water rationing set to begin
Taoyuan County and Linkou District (林口) in New Taipei City are set to face first-stage water rationing from Thursday, the Taiwan Water Corp said yesterday.
Water stored in the Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫) in Taoyuan County was recorded at 137.25 million tonnes on Thursday, which is the lowest storage level in the past decade, the company said in a statement.
The state-owned company said that the water pressure in Taoyuan and Linkou would be reduced between 11pm and 5am, adding that the first-phase measure is expected to have little impact on household water consumption.
The company suggested households that usually require large amounts of water at night should conserve water in the daytime for use as a backup source.
Ministry inks investment letters
The Ministry of Economic Affairs has signed letters of intent with three European companies, which are expected to expand their investment in Taiwan to a total of NT$5 billion (US$161.26 million) over the next three years, the Department of Investment Services said in a statement yesterday.
The companies include French-based Suez Environment, Swissray Global in Geneva and Biodenta Corp of Switzerland. Biodenta develops dental implant systems, while Suez Environment operates largely in wastewater treatment and waste management sectors, the department said.
Sovereign bond target missed
The government yesterday sold NT$22.9 billion in Treasury bonds with a coupon rate of 2.25 percent, short of a NT$30 billion goal, according to a statement issued by the central bank.
The government has missed its target at a sovereign bond sale for the fourth time this year as the Ministry of Finance capped yields amid weak demand from insurers.
The yield on 30-year sovereign notes climbed six basis points, or 0.06 percentage points, to 2.42 percent yesterday on the GRETAI Securities Market.
Investors bid 1.29 times the amount offered at the auction, less than the 1.48 ratio at the July sale.
In addition, insurers bought 22 percent of the 30-year bonds, compared with an average of 36 percent for the 30-year debts over the past five years.
Health app to promote exercise
Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation’s second-largest telecom company, on Thursday teamed up with sports events platform Sports Bank to introduce a new mobile app billed as the first locally produced platform for saving “health assets” such as time spent exercising.
The platform seeks to integrate sporting match news and information with personal exercise data.
Its central feature is keeping track of users’ data in the form of points to compete against other users and encourage a habit of working out, Taiwan Mobile said at a launch ceremony.
In Taiwan, more than 30 percent of people work out regularly — defined as three times per week, for 30 minutes each time — and more than 700 sports events are held each year, the company said.
V Air due to begin operations
V Air (威航), TransAsia Airways Group’s (復興航空集團) new low-cost carrier, yesterday said it would launch services on Dec. 17 with an inaugural flight to Bangkok.
The budget airline plans to begin operations between Taipei and Chiang Mai in northern Thailand from Jan. 7, according to the company.
Introductory prices for a one-way trip on the maiden flight would start at NT$1,988, V Air said, adding that if more people participated in an online campaign, the price would drop.
The final price for the inaugural flight and the official flight schedule are set to be announced on Dec. 1, the carrier said.
TV panel prices continue rising
Prices of TV panels quoted for this month continued to rise, driven by strong demand from international TV brands ahead of the Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping season, WitsView — a research division at Taiwan-based market information advisory firm TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) — said in a report yesterday.
WitsView said that the price hikes in the global TV panel business also reflected strong demand this month as China celebrated Singles Day on Nov. 11.
According to WitsView, the prices of 40-inch and 48-inch TV screens quoted for this month rose US$3 from the previous month, while 50-inch panel prices increased between US$2 and US$3 from last month and 32-inch panels prices were US$1 higher.
Apple tablets out soon: telecoms
Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) and Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) yesterday said the new generation of Apple Inc tablets would be available for purchase soon, and Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) said it has started accepting pre-orders for the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3, prompting speculation that the new gadgets would hit local stores early next month.
Far EasTone, which began accepting pre-orders late last month, said several thousand people have placed orders, 80 percent of which are for the iPad Air 2, it said.
The cheapest iPad Air 2 is sold at US$499 per unit, while prices for an iPad Mini 3 start at US$399, according to Apple.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday posted monthly revenue that suggested second-quarter sales surpassed analysts’ estimates, underscoring how its technological lead is helping the chipmaker weather the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions on its second-biggest customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Apple Inc’s main iPhone chipmaker posted sales of NT$120.88 billion (US$4.08 billion) for last month, up 40.8 percent year-on-year and bringing its revenue for the second quarter to NT$310.7 billion, beating the NT$308.8 billion analysts expected on average. TSMC, a barometer for the industry thanks to its heft in the global supply chain, had previously lowered its revenue outlook for this
‘POSITIVE EFFECT’: Phison this year began shipping SSDs to Japan’s largest pachinko maker, which uses the components in its machines featuring high-resolution graphics Phison Electronics Corp (群聯電子), a designer of NAND flash memory controllers and modules, yesterday reported that revenue last quarter grew 11 percent from a year earlier on the back of new orders from Japan’s largest pachinko maker. Revenue last quarter expanded to NT$10.86 billion (US$366.82 million) from NT$9.79 billion a year earlier, Phison said. However, on a quarterly basis, revenue slumped 15.62 percent from NT$12.87 billion, it said. The Miaoli-based company said that it is benefiting from growing demand for solid-state drives (SSDs) used in devices beyond computers, which is stimulating growth for the NAND flash memory industry. Pachinko machines are one