Sat, Oct 22, 2016 - Page 11 News List

Taiwan Business Quick Take

Staff writer, with agencies

SEMICONDUCTORS

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.

SHIPPING

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.

TELECOMS

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.

ACQUISITIONS

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.

PHARMACEUTICALS

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.

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