Home prices set to fall
Home prices across Taiwan are likely to trend lower next year, amid expectations that an interest rate hike cycle will boost borrowing costs following the end of the US Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program, online property sales agency HouseFun (好房) said on Tuesday. The market widely expects that the Fed will start raising interest rates in the middle of next year, which could lead the nation’s central bank to follow suit, increasing rates for home mortgages. In addition, the rising number of unsold new residential units is expected to exert downward pressure on prices in the new year, HouseFun said. Buyers might see many unsold homes in New Taipei City, Greater Taoyuan and Hsinchu, it said. The result could be a price drop across most of the nation’s major cities. In Taipei, housing prices could fall 10 percent annually next year, HouseFun said.
‘Green’ facilities completed
State-run Taiwan Power Co (台電) has completed the construction of a photovoltaic energy generation system in Greater Taichung and installed eight new wind turbines in Greater Taoyuan, which together can power 8,304 additional households, the utility said yesterday. The state-run utility said the system in Taichung is the fourth and largest photovoltaic energy generation system in the nation. It can generate electricity for 2,290 households, while the eight wind turbines can provide electricity to 6,014 homes, the company said.
UMC 28nm plan approved
United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the nation’s No. 2 contract chipmaker, yesterday said its board has approved the appropriation of NT$9.34 billion (US$293.8 million) to boost its capacity to produce 28-nanometer (nm) chips. The chipmaker plans to expand its 28nm chip capacity to 20,000 wafers a month early next year. The board yesterday also gave the go-ahead for the company to subscribe to new shares of wafer manufacturing subsidiary Wavetek Microelectronics Corp (聯穎光電) for a maximum of NT$540 million. It also approved a plan to sell a 6-inch wafer plant to Wavetek Microelectronics for NT$440 million.
Acer unveils EMEA shakeup
Acer Inc (宏碁) on Tuesday announced that Emmanuel Fromont, its corporate vice president and president of Pan America operations, will assume a new role as company president in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Fromont accrued years of management experience in these markets prior to moving to the US to take up his current position, the PC manufacturer said in a statement. Vice president of product marketing in Pan America Sumit Agnihotry will take Fromont’s vacant post as Pan America head. Acer EMEA president Luca Rossi is to leave the company after six years of service due to personal reasons, Acer said.
NT drops against greenback
The New Taiwan dollar fell against the US dollar yesterday, declining NT$0.05 to close at NT$31.815 as strong third-quarter economic growth in the US encouraged traders to buy into the greenback, dealers said. Although the central bank continued to intervene in the foreign exchange market to prop up the US unit, its efforts appeared weaker than in previous sessions and the gains posted by the greenback were capped by the close, dealers said.
Manufacturers are on a mission to produce desperately needed medical ventilators for the COVID-19 pandemic, even if it means converting assembly lines now making auto parts. Along with a shortage of masks and gloves, the spread of COVID-19 to almost every corner of the globe has highlighted a great need for specialized machines that help keep severely afflicted patients alive. “As the global pandemic evolves, there is unprecedented demand for medical equipment, including ventilators,” GE Healthcare chief executive officer Kieran Murphy said. The group has hired more workers and is making ventilators around the clock. Swedish group Getinge AB is also ramping up output
Facing the rapidly evolving global COVID-19 pandemic, Citibank Taiwan Ltd (台灣花旗) has proactively taken precautionary measures. “The health and safety of our colleagues and their families, as well as our clients and the communities we serve, are of the utmost importance. We continue to take proactive measures to preserve their well-being while we maintain our ability to serve our clients,” Citibank Taiwan chairman Paulus Mok (莫兆鴻) said in a statement yesterday. “We have local and regional contingency plans in place, and we have well-established business continuity plans for the firm. We are monitoring the situation closely, adjusting our operations accordingly,
UPGRADE AND TRANSFORM: Although the cross-strait trade deal might remain, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said businesses should prepare for any disruptions Taiwan might face a decline in foreign trade with China if the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) ends this year, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said yesterday. The agreement, which was signed and put into effect in 2010 to reduce trade barriers across the Taiwan Strait, is expected to end this year, despite not having an exact termination date. “We have not received notification [from China] that it wishes to terminate ECFA,” Shen told reporters prior to attending a meeting at the Legislative Yuan. “Even if we are notified, the agreement would only cease after six months.” While acknowledging the
GoShare, an electric scooter sharing service provider with Gogoro Inc (睿能創意), plans to expand to Tainan next quarter in a strategic alliance with Aeon Motor Co (宏佳騰). The company currently offers its services in Taipei and Taoyuan. “Tainan is very popular among tourists. The city receives an average of 22.94 million tourists every year,” GoShare head Henry Chiang (姜家煒) told a news conference yesterday in Taipei, citing Tourism Bureau statistics. “Besides, the city has a long history of riding scooters,” he said. Each household owns an average of 2.5 scooters, he added. “Expanding presence” is one of four strategies GoShare is adopting for this