HannStar posts losses
Local LCD panel maker HannStar Display Corp (瀚宇彩晶) yesterday posted a quarterly loss of NT$1.35 billion (US$41.51 million) for last quarter, compared with a loss of NT$707 million in the previous quarter, as panel prices plunged about 20 percent sequentially. However, shipments rose 14 percent from 3.74 million units in the previous quarter to 4.26 million units last quarter. Gross margin deteriorated from minus-7 percent in the previous quarter to minus-14 percent last quarter. For last year as a whole, HannStar lost about NT$2.2 billion. Book value fell to NT$10.09 per share on Dec. 31 last year. The company’s board yesterday approved the plan to issue up to 700 million new common shares to introduce strategic partners and to repay debts.
SC approves Barclays exit
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday gave its approval for Barclays PLC to dissolve its Taiwan-based brokerage subsidiary, Barclays Capital Securities Taiwan Ltd, as the brokerage scales down its business in Asia. Barclays said its final day of business would be on April 22. The commission said that as of the end of last year, the UK brokerage held 0.43 percent of the local market, ranked 13th among 17 foreign peers operating in Taiwan and has been laying off its 33 employees since January. The commission said that Barclays has not applied to pull its banking unit from Taiwan. It is to be the second time that the UK brokerage has entered and left Taiwan.
HK ranked ‘most profitable’
Hong Kong was the most profitable market for Taiwanese banks’ overseas operations last year, with profits reaching NT$23.64 billion, according to information provided by the FSC yesterday. The US ranked second with profit of NT$8.73 billion, followed by Japan’s NT$6.67 billion. China ranked fourth with NT$4.63 billion and Singapore ranked fifth with NT$3.52 billion, data from the commission showed. Aggregate profit in the five markets last year rose 19 percent annually to NT$54.11 billion, led by 59 percent annual growth in Singapore. Meanwhile, aggregate profits from Chinese operations contracted 29 percent annually. Tokyo Star Bank Ltd, a Japanese unit of CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控), last year earned NT$5.2 billion, or 80 percent of total earnings by Taiwanese Japan-based bank branches.
TAIEX dips below 8,800
The TAIEX closed below the 8,800-point mark yesterday after a disappointing showing by Apple-concept shares in the local equity market. The TAIEX yesterday fell 0.31 percent to 8,785.68 on turnover of NT$86.24 billion. Apple Inc unveiled its new 4-inch iPhone SE and a smaller, cheaper iPad Pro tablet on Monday, which are seen as targeting a specific group of users and are not expected to greatly affect the market. Shares of suppliers to Apple — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), Catcher Technology Co (可成), Innolux Corp (群創) and TPK Holding Co (宸鴻) — were mostly lower, showing that they did not benefit from the unveiling of the new products. Only Largan Precision Co (大立光), a smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple, closed up, at NT$2,600. The share price of smartphone maker HTC Corp (宏達電) sank by the maximum 10 percent to NT$101.5 after reports said that it was losing NT$1,200 for every device sold.
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
MRT TRAVEL FALLS: In February, ridership on the Taipei MRT System fell 8.96 percent from an average of 2.01 million per day in January Scooter sales jumped 13 percent last month as more commuters turned to two-wheelers to avoid public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest statistics showed. Sales expanded to 74,493 units last month, compared with 65,913 units in February, statistics released on Wednesday by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed. In the first quarter, aggregate sales slid 0.51 percent year-over-year to 186,627 units, from 187,580 units, data showed. Kwang Yang, the nation’s biggest scooter manufacturer, continued to lead the market by selling 24,136 vehicles last month, growing 6.12 percent from 20,785 units in the previous month, while
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the nation’s leading PC vendor, yesterday launched its first dual-screen gaming laptop powered by Intel Corp’s latest central processing units (CPUs). The PC manufacturer’s announcement closely followed the US chipmaker’s unveiling of its 10th Generation Core H-series, the fastest commercial mobile processors with speeds of up to 5 gigahertz. Although Asustek’s Zephyrus Duo 15, the highlight of its Republic of Gamers line, is not the company’s first laptop with two screens, it is its first designed specifically for gaming. Nestled between the primary display panel and the keyboard, the secondary display, which Asustek calls the ScreenPad Plus, is angled
NO ILL EFFECT: Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the spread of COVID-19 was still relatively mild in Taiwan, housing brokers said Housing transactions in the six special municipalities totaled 19,824 units last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said, citing government data. Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet evident, they said. Taoyuan posted the largest improvement, with housing transactions soaring 36.6 percent year-on-year to 3,676 units, local government data showed. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) attributed the pickup to the completion of two presale residential projects in the municipality. Houses in Taoyuan have increasingly gained in popularity in the past few year years due to relatively affordable home prices and