North America ratio rises
The book-to-bill ratio for North American-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers rose from 1.03 in August to 1.05 last month, statistics released by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) showed on Thursday. A ratio of 1.05 means that US$105 worth of orders were received for every US$100 of products billed in the month. It was the 10th consecutive month that the ratio stood at or above 1, indicating strong demand is likely to continue in the short term. “Semiconductor equipment bookings continue to outpace equipment billings,” SEMI president and CEO Denny McGuirk said in a press release.
NEAX service set for launch
Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運), the largest container shipper in Taiwan, has teamed up with counterparts in the region to upgrade services between Asia and Australia. Starting tomorrow, Evergreen Marine, Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line, Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd, and Taiwan’s Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) are to introduce a new service, called the North East Asia-Australia Express (NEAX). Evergreen Marine said the five partners will assign six 3,500 to 3,700 twenty-foot equivalent unit vessels to the new route.
Far EasTone to offer VoLTE
Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd (遠傳電信) yesterday said it is planning to offer a voice over long-term evolution (VoLTE) service later this month, allowing users to make high-quality voice calls over the 4G long-term evolution (LTE) networks, replacing traditional circuit-switched networks. The nation’s No. 3 telecom operator said making voice calls over LTE networks will significantly reduce background noise. The company will charge NT$30 a month for the VoLTE service, the same rate as Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大). Asia Pacific Telecom Co (亞太電信) started offering a free VoLTE service in May last year.
Qualcomm deal expected
Qualcomm Inc is reaching the final stages of negotiations to acquire NXP Semiconductors NV and the two chipmakers might announce a deal as early as next week, according to people familiar with the process. The San Diego-based company is close to wrapping up a review of NXP’s finances and worldwide operations, the people said. The announcement might come as soon as NXP’s quarterly earnings report, which is expected to be released on Wednesday, or might be delayed until Qualcomm reports results on Nov. 2. No agreement has been signed and the deal still might not happen, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions are private.
IPO raises US$1.8 billion
China Resources Pharmaceutical Group Ltd (華潤醫藥集團) raised US$1.8 billion after pricing its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) below the midpoint of a marketed range, according to people familiar with the matter. China’s second-largest drugmaker priced its sale of 1.543 billion shares at HK$9.1 apiece, the people said. China Resources Pharmaceutical offered the shares at HK$8.45 to HK$10.15 each, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg last week. The deal adds to the US$19.5 billion raised from Hong Kong first-time share sales this year, Bloomberg data showed.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Yageo Corp (國巨), the world’s third-largest supplier of multilayer ceramic capacitors, has formed a strategic alliance with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) to develop key electronic components for electric vehicles and digital healthcare, it said yesterday. The alliance is to help Yageo boost its revenue from high-end components for vehicles and industrial, medical and aerospace devices, as well as those used in 5G and Internet-of-Things devices, the company said. The companies signed the strategic alliance agreement at Yageo’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店). Their cooperation is to start this quarter, the companies said in a joint statement. “Through the cooperation
SUPPLY CONSTRAINTS: The transferred orders might not provide an immediate revenue boost given local chipmakers’ high utilization rates, a senior analyst said Shares of local contract chipmakers yesterday rose as much as the 10 percent daily limit, as investors bet on orders being transferred from Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際) after the US imposed export restrictions on the Chinese chipmaker. United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) shares soared 10 percent to close at NT$27.5 as 380 million shares changed hands on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. UMC is the world’s No. 3 foundry by revenue, followed by SMIC, according to data from market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技). UMC has product and customer portfolios similar to those of SMIC, TrendForce said, adding that UMC offers 14-nanometer and
‘IMPORTANT MILESTONE’: The firm expects to launch the generic of Revlimid in the US after March 2022. It has already launched the product in some European countries Lotus Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (美時化學製藥) has received tentative approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) for lenalidomide, the company said in a statement on Friday. The ANDA approval is for 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, 20mg and 25mg capsules of lenalidomide, which is a generic version of blood cancer drug Revlimid developed by Celgene Corp. It is the first product fully developed and manufactured in Lotus’ facilities in Taiwan. Lotus expects to launch the product in the US — based on its patent litigation settlement with Celgene last year — some time after March