Sat, May 23, 2015 - Page 13 News List

Taiwan Business Quick Take

Staff writer

SMARTPHONES

Silitech to buy back shares

Handset keypad supplier Silitech Technology Corp (閎暉) yesterday said its board decided to implement a stock buyback plan beginning yesterday and running through July 21. Shares closed 1.32 percent higher at NT$23 yesterday before the company unveiled its buyback plan. The board has agreed to buy back up to 10 million shares, or 5.28 percent of total outstanding shares, at a price of NT$16.1 to NT$35.45 per share, Silitech said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The company plans to spend up to NT$2.74 billion (US$89.7 million) on the buyback and will transfer the shares to employees in a bid to “boost employee morale,” the filing said.

RETAIL

Breeze Group founder dies

Upscale mall operator Breeze Group (微風集團) yesterday confirmed its founder and chairman Paul Liao (廖偉志) has died at the age of 67. Breeze executive director Henry Liao (廖鎮漢) said in a letter to company employees that his father died at home on Wednesday, attended by close family members. The group, which runs several Breeze Center (微風廣場) malls, said that Paul Liao died of an illness, but did not disclose further details.

INVESTMENT FUNDS

FSC’s Wang to chair TIGF

The semi-official Taiwan Insurance Guaranty Fund (TIGF, 保險安定基金) yesterday said its board decided to invite Financial Supervisory Commission Vice Chairwoman Jennifer Wang (王儷玲) to head the fund after former chairman Chu Yun-peng (朱雲鵬) completed his tenure on Thursday. The fund expects that, under Wang’s leadership, Cathay Life Insurance Co Ltd (國泰人壽) will be on track to complete its recent purchases of insolvent Global Life Insurance Co (國寶人壽) and Singfor Life Insurance Co (幸福人壽). Wang is also to help facilitate communications between the fund, the financial regulator and the local insurance industry, according to a TIGF statement.

BANKING

Dome exposure ‘manageable’

The Taipei City Government’s order to Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) to shut down construction of the Taipei Dome this week is expected to create a negative sentiment for the financial sector in the near term, but potential earnings overhang for banks with credit exposure to the land developer is still manageable, JPMorgan Securities Ltd said in a note yesterday. JPMorgan said the syndicated loan of NT$15.4 billion from 11 banks led by Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐銀行) is collateralized by the Taipei Dome itself and related surface rights. The brokerage said such credit exposure is, in general, less than 0.1 percent of the total loan, while a 100 percent provision is expected to affect no more than 10 percent of creditor banks’ earnings this year.

SEMICONDUCTORS

Industry continues to grow

The book-to-bill ratio for North American-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers dropped to 1.04 last month as growth in billings surpassed bookings, semiconductor industry association SEMI said yesterday. This marked the fourth month this year that the ratio stood above one, indicating the industry is still growing. The three-month average of worldwide bookings expanded 12.9 percent to US$1.57 billion last month, from US$1.39 billion in March, SEMI’s data showed. The three-month average of worldwide billings jumped 19.3 percent to US$1.51 billion last month from US$1.27 billion in the prior month.

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