Sat, Feb 18, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Taiwan Business Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

FINANCING

TetraVue closes Series A

TetraVue, a California-based firm that provides advanced 3D imaging technologies, announced the close of its Series A funding of US$10 million, backed by manufacturing giants such as Samsung Electronics Co and Foxconn Technology Group (富士康). TetraVue founder and chief executive officer Paul Banks said in a press release that the new funds would be used on 3D vision technology to enable “smart” vision for “smarter machines.” The US company said it is developing partnerships with car manufacturers, artificial intelligence software developers and hardware makers for self-driving vehicles development.

INVESTMENT

Sun Art Retail halts trading

China’s leading hypermarket operator, Sun Art Retail Group (高鑫零售), yesterday sought a trading halt on its Hong Kong-listed shares beginning at 1:30pm after the shares rose by 6.5 percent in the morning session. The rise came amid media speculation that potential suitors were in talks to buy the RT-Mart (大潤發) hypermarket chain in China. The Chinese-language Commercial Times, citing Ruentex Group (潤泰集團) chairman Samuel Yin (尹衍樑), reported that potential suitors include Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴), Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊) and Chinese retail giant Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd (蘇寧電商集團). Taipei-based Ruentex is a major shareholder in Sun Art and operates RT-Mart chains in Taiwan and China.

AUTOMAKERS

Ford Lio Ho to upgrade

Ford Lio Ho Motor Co (福特六和) on Thursday said it would invest NT$4 billion (US$130 million) to upgrade its production processes in Taiwan and manufacture the Escort series of family cars. As part of a program to improve the quality of its vehicles, the investment will mainly involve the purchase of new equipment and introduction of intelligent production, Ford Lio Ho said. The firm also said it plans to add more options to its Escort series to meet customer demand.

SEMICONDUCTORS

FocalTech income up 51%

FocalTech Systems Co Ltd (敦泰科技) posted a 51 percent increase in pre-tax income to NT$158 million for last quarter, compared with NT$105 million in the previous quarter, according to a statement released by the touchpanel controller supplier on Tuesday. FocalTech attributed the growth to an increase in shipments of higher-margin products. Revenue last quarter shrank 12 percent quarter-on-quarter due to a short supply of flat panels, it said. Last year as a whole, it made NT$242 million in pre-tax income, down 7 percent from NT$259 million in 2015 on lower non-operating income. Operating income reached NT$207 million last year, an improvement from an operating loss of NT$136 million in 2015.

FINANCING

New Apple bonds for Taiwan

Apple Inc is set to issue corporate bonds in Taiwan, aiming to raise US$1 billion, market sources said on Thursday. The bonds, with a 30-year maturity, are scheduled to be listed on March 3, the sources said. This is the second time Apple is seeking to raise funds in Taiwan through bond sales after issuing US$1.38 billion in June last year. The first bond sale generated more than US$1.2 billion. The new bonds have been priced at a coupon rate of 4.3 percent, higher than the 4.15 percent in the previous sales following the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in December last year, the sources said.

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