Chinese bank issues bonds
The Taipei branch of China-based Bank of Communications Ltd (交通銀行) yesterday issued four tranches of yuan-denominated bonds valued at 2 billion yuan (US$32.52 million), according to local bond market operator GRETAI Securities Market (GTSM).
The Chinese bank’s yuan bonds include a two-year tranche worth 200 million yuan with a coupon rate of 3.3 percent and a five-year tranche valued at 900 million yuan with a 3.75 coupon rate. The other two are a seven-year tranche worth 700 million yuan with a 3.9 percent coupon rate and a 10-year tranche valued at 200 million with a 4 percent coupon rate
Meanwhile, Natixis SA is scheduled to issue a tranche of US dollar-denominated bonds in Taiwan today. The French bank will issue US$295 million in corporate bonds with a maturity of 30 years and a zero coupon rate, the GTSM said, adding that investors are expected to receive a return of 4.67 percent.
MOF tightens hybrid tax cuts
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) yesterday tightened tax cut requirements for expensive hybrid electric vehicles on the grounds that they do little to promote green transportation.
Starting immediately, only hybrid electric cars priced under NT$1 million (US$32,110) and with carbon emissions lower than 120kg per kilometer will qualify for the 50 percent cut in sales tax, the ministry said.
In addition, they must meet engine displacement and fuel consumption requirements to qualify for the tax cut.
The tightening came after complaints that large expensive hybrid electric cars produce more carbon emissions than traditional cars.
Microsoft announces alliance
Microsoft Taiwan Corp (台灣微軟) yesterday announced the formation of an alliance with industrial computer supplier Advantech Co (研華科技) to build the first wireless Internet of Things solutions to embed a cloud platform in Asia.
Microsoft Taiwan said in a statement that the platform combines its Microsoft Azure cloud system and Advantech’s remote software management tool SUSIAccess, aiming to expand the business opportunities brought by the Internet of Things era.
The company said that the platform enables Microsoft Azure cloud system to analyze the data gathered from SUSIAccess.
DHL opens 650 service outlets
Deutsche Post DHL, one of the world’s leading mail and logistics services groups, announced yesterday that it has added 650 service locations in Taiwan at state-run Chunghwa Post Co (中華郵政) branches to fulfill customers’ peak pre-holiday season shipping needs.
DHL’s expansion of service locations will serve to provide greater accessibility and convenience to local customers and small and medium-sized enterprises, in addition to its neighborhood-based services at thousands of 7-Eleven convenience stores accepting documents, for their deliveries during this pre-holiday peak shipping season, the company said in a statement.
Google launches Chromecast
Google Inc yesterday launched its Chromecast device in Taiwan that enables consumers to cast media content such as movies, music and sports from mobile devices or computers to a television screen.
Google has launched its branded Chromecast in 24 markets, including Taiwan. The device is priced at NT$1,390 through stores operated by Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) and Web portal PChome’s (網路家庭) online shopping site.
Chromecast is a thumb-sized media streaming device that plugs into the HDMI port on a television set to cast the user’s mobile entertainment content or apps to the big screen. With Chromecast, a user’s smartphone or tablet can be used as a personalized remote control for the TV, according to Google.
Chunghwa raises 4G target
Chunghwa Telecom on Wednesday raised its annual target for 4G subscribers on optimism about local consumers’ smooth transitions from older 3G networks.
The nation’s largest telecom now expects to sign up more than 1.3 million 4G users by the end of this year, up from its previous target of 1.2 million, president Shih Mu-piao (石木標) told reporters on the sidelines of a 4G summit in Taipei.
The new target represents a market share of more than 40 percent, he said, as the National Communications Commission has estimated that the country’s 4G accounts will grow to 3 million this year, from 2.1 million users as of the end of October.
Best Buy exits China market
US home appliance giant Best Buy Co is leaving the Chinese market, selling its Five Star Appliance (五星電器) subsidiary there to a local group, the company said late yesterday.
Five Star, which Best Buy acquired in 2006, operates 184 stores in China. It will be bought by real-estate developers the Jiayuan Group (佳源集團).
Best Buy did not disclose terms of the transaction, but said the sale should not have a significant impact on its earnings.
The sale will allow Best Buy to concentrate more on its North American activities, the US company said in a statement.
The company has long been dominant in the US market, but is fighting online outlets which have lured away many of its customers.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,
‘SWARM TECH’: Joint venture FARobot is to develop autonomous mobile robots that would first be deployed in Hon Hai’s factories to optimize production efficiency Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Adlink Technology Inc (凌華科技) have formed a robotic venture that aims to use “swarm technology” to create robots that can communicate with one another on the factory floor to optimize production efficiency. Hon Hai is Apple Inc’s leading iPhone assembler and the world’s largest contract electronics maker, while Adlink supplies industrial computers and Internet of Things solutions. Through a subsidiary, Hyield Venture Capital Co (鴻揚創投), Hon Hai holds a 51 percent stake in autonomous mobile robot (AMR) developer FARobot (法博智能移動), while Adlink owns the remaining 49 percent. Together, the two companies put up NT$200