Sat, Oct 24, 2015 - Page 14 News List

Taiwan Business Quick Take

Staff writer

EXPORT ORDERS

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.

CHIPMAKERS

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.”

DISK DRIVES

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.

ECONOMY

‘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.

PHARMACEUTICALS

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.

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