PCB exports fall 9.9 percent
Printed circuit board (PCB) exports dropped 9.9 percent annually to US$49.93 billion last year, mainly dragged down by weakness in the smartphone and notebook computer industries in the first half of last year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. Increased production of PCBs in China also weighed on Taiwan’s export performance, the ministry said. China and Hong Kong are Taiwan’s largest export destination for PCBs, accounting for more than 50 percent of total PCB exports last year, ministry data showed.
Yuan deposits drop
Yuan deposits at the nation’s banks last month totaled 310.95 billion yuan (US$45.28 million), down 0.15 percent from December last year, as firms trimmed holdings, but individual customers raised positions, the central bank said yesterday. The bank attributed the latest balance changes to asset allocations on the part of lenders to cope with currency fluctuations. Overall yuan deposits held relatively steady, it said.
Hotai offers 24-hour service
Hotai Leasing Corp (和運租車) yesterday launched a 24-hour service for car rentals, in a bid to make driving more convenient. Using the iRent app on smartphones, customers can make reservations, collect and return rental cars at different locations any time of day, Hotai Leasing said in a statement. The company said it hopes to develop a sharing economy like Taipei’s public bike rental service YouBike.
TAIEX hits 21-month high
The TAIEX yesterday hit a 21-month high, closing just short of 9,800 points in a liquidity-driven session, with market sentiment boosted by a stronger New Taiwan dollar after major US indices hit record highs overnight, dealers said. Buying in the electronics, steel and shipping sectors drove the gains, led by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) and smartphone vendor HTC Corp (宏達電). The TAIEX closed up 0.83 percent at 9,799.76, on turnover of NT$115.36 billion (US$3.75 billion). The market opened up 5.35 points and quickly passed 9,800 points in reaction to the record-highs recorded by the NASDAQ Composite and S&P 500 on Tuesday and an uptick in the local currency. US stocks notched a fourth straight record close on Tuesday, with a rally led by bank stocks after US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled that the US central bank would gradually raise interest rates sooner rather than later.
Curbs to remain on stability
Residential property curbs are set to stay in place for at least another year amid signs the city-state’s housing market is stabilizing, the head of Southeast Asia’s biggest developer said yesterday. “We see volume picking up and the price declines have slowed,” CapitaLand Ltd CEO Lim Ming Yan said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “We see this trend continuing for 2017. There is no compelling reason for the government at this point to make major changes,” to property curbs. Lim was speaking after the Singapore-based developer said net income climbed 74 percent to S$430.5 million (US$301.9 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31 last year. CapitaLand’s Singapore home sales more than doubled to 571 units during the year and sales in China rose 14 percent.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to
DIGITAL COMMERCE: In 2016, only 2 percent of orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that has risen to 10 percent, Foodpanda Taiwan Co operations director Nick Yu said Online food delivery platforms have seen explosive growth in Taiwan this year, helped by business opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, company executives said at a digital commerce conference in Taipei yesterday. When the threat of COVID-19 kept people from going out to eat, more people experimented with ordering food deliveries online, Foodpanda Taiwan Co Ltd (富胖達) operations director Nick Yu (余岳勳) said. Foodpanda started operations in Taiwan in 2012. “We experienced 5,000 percent growth in the past 24 months,” Yu said. “That’s more than the previous six years combined.” In 2016, only 2 percent of food orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that