TAIEX at lowest since 2013
The TAIEX slumped to its lowest level since August 2013 amid concern the nation’s slowing economy and China’s currency devaluation will hurt corporate earnings. The TAIEX fell 1.9 percent to close at 8,021.84 points. At one point, the benchmark gauge briefly entered a bear market after tumbling 20 percent from a 15-year high on April 27 before paring losses. “The wave of declines is rooted in the problems in Taiwan’s economy,” Capital Investment Management Corp (群益投顧) vice president Alan Tseng (曾炎裕) said yesterday. Last week, the government halved its GDP growth forecast to 1.56 percent for this year from 3.28 percent after exports slumped for a sixth month. “The electronics industry is facing the toughest competition in 10 years because of China. The index will fall below 8,000,” Tseng said.
Convenience stores grow
The number of convenience stores in Taiwan rose 1.4 percent last year from the previous year to 10,154 and was 25.53 percent higher than the 8,089 that existed at the end of 2004, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said in a statement yesterday. In the past decade, the number of convenience store outlets has grown an average of 2.3 percent a year, the commission said. The stores served 2.91 billion customers last year, up about 30 million from a year earlier, according to the commission, with average spending of NT$71 (US$2.18) by consumers, up from NT$65 in 2009. The nation’s five major convenience store chains are President Chain Store Corp (PCSC, 統一超商), which operates 7-Eleven stores, Taiwan FamilyMart Co (全家便利商店), Hi-Life International Co (萊爾富), Circle K and Million, which is run by state-owned Taiwan Sugar Corp (台糖).
Cheng Shin shares drop
Tire maker Cheng Shin Rubber Industry Co (正新橡膠) yesterday saw its shares drop to close 2.52 percent lower at NT$54.1, their lowest level since 2009, after several foreign brokerages lowered their earnings growth forecasts for the company. The company on Tuesday held an investors’ conference at its Changhwa headquarters, saying it remained confident in its second-half growth outlook. However, the company might face market headwinds amid a slowdown in new car sales in China, which would affect demand for passenger car radial tires, and the prolonged transition time of the truck and bus radial tires, analysts said. “We expect the company to deliver downward earnings growth, given the shipment decrease and average selling price drop,” JPMorgan Securities Ltd said yesterday in a note. The brokerage forecast Cheng Shin’s sales to drop 4 percent year-on-year on lower average selling price and shipments.
HTC mulls factory sale
HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday did not confirm if it is in talks to sell its smartphone manufacturing factory in Shanghai to an unidentified Chinese company to address its mounting financial woes. The latest edition of the Chinese-language Next Magazine yesterday reported the company has planned to shut down two production lines in the Shanghai factory and discussed the sale of the facility with a Chinese firm. HTC set up the 146,667m2 factory in the Pudong New Area of Shanghai in 2009 with an initial investment of NT$1.05 billion, the magazine reported.
STEPPING UP: The firm has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week and to halt all but essential overseas business travel from next month Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has implemented a remote work policy for employees not on production lines in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. This is the first time in the Hsinchu-based company’s history that it has launched a large-scale remote work policy, joining global technology companies, such as Apple Inc and Google, that encourage employees to work from home. The chipmaker has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week, it said. As the number of virus infections continues to climb worldwide, TSMC has urged employees to halt unnecessary
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,
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