Rate of decline eases
Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) yesterday said export orders in the first half of this month were lower than the same period last year, but the rate of decline has eased from previous months. Chang made the remarks in response to reporters’ questions before meeting a group of Control Yuan members who were visiting the finance ministry. He did not provide exact figures for export orders in the first two weeks of the month. Last month, export orders declined 4.5 percent to US$41.35 billion from the previous year, the sixth consecutive monthly fall.
Uncertainty dents capex
The book-to-bill ratio for North American-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers rebounded to a six-month high last month, but bookings and billings fell on uncertainty about semiconductor demand, industry association SEMI said yesterday. The three-month average of worldwide bookings shrank 4.1 percent to US$1.6 billion from August, while the three-month average of worldwide billings dropped 4.6 percent to US$1.5 billion, bringing the book-to-bill ratio to 1.07 last month, which is the highest since March. SEMI president and chief executive Denny McGuirk said that “uncertainty with semiconductor demand has dampened expectations with capex [capital expenditure] plans in the near-term.”
Quanta to appeal EU fine
Optical disk drive maker Quanta Storage Inc (廣明光電) yesterday said it would file an appeal with EU regulators over a decision to fine the company 7.14 million euros (US$7.92 million) for price fixing, adding that the ruling would not have a significant impact on its operations. The company said there is still uncertainty about the court’s final ruling. The firm is one of eight that were fined a combined 116 million euros by EU regulators this week for fixing the prices of CD and DVD drives. Lite-On Technology Inc (光寶) and its affiliate Philip & Lite-On Digital Solutions Corp (飛利浦建興) were exempted from the punishment as they had delivered leniency notices to EU regulators, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said.
‘Death cross’ finally ends
The annual growth rates of M1B and M2 increased to 6.62 percent and 6.5 percent last month respectively, mainly because of faster growth in bank loans and investments, the central bank said yesterday. The data ended eight consecutive months of the so-called “death cross” — the broad money supply measure outpacing the narrow money gauge — the central bank said in a statement. The situation might be sustained this month as foreign funds appear to be showing revived interest in local shares, the bank said. M2 includes savings deposits, time-savings deposits, foreign currency deposits, mutual funds and the narrower M1B, which refers to cash and cash equivalents.
Antibody alliance formed
The government-funded Development Center for Biotechnology has gathered together the nation’s top pharmaceutical companies in a next-generation antibody drugs alliance with their international peers, such as Britain’s Abzena, in a bid to tap the market for bi-specific antibody and antibody drug conjugates. The center said on Wednesday that the alliance would allow participants to conduct pre-competitive collaborations to share findings and minimize development costs.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB