Lenders’ borrowing costs dip
The average borrowing costs for the nation’s five major state-run banks last month stood at 1.309 percent, down 0.113 percentage points from 1.422 percent in December last year, due to lower interest rates for revolving loans, the central bank said in a statement yesterday. The five lenders are Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行), Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合庫銀行), Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行), Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行) and First Commercial Bank (第一銀行). Excluding government loans, interest rates averaged 1.390 percent, down 0.058 percentage points from 1.448 percent the previous month, the central bank said.
Futaba to close VFD line
Taiwan Futaba Electronics Corp (台灣雙葉電子) is to shut down its vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) production line next month, which might affect up to 140 employees in Kaohsiung’s Nantze Export Processing Zone (楠梓加工出口區), the Chinese-language Liberty Times (sister publication of the Taipei Times) reported on its Web site yesterday. After operating for 45 years, the VFD production line is to close on March 31 due to a shrinking fluorescent display market, as the firm transfers capacity to touchpanel-related manufacturing, the report said. Established in 1973, the firm is a local subsidiary of Japan’s Futaba Corp and employs about 1,145 people in Taiwan, it said.
Topoint to cut capitalization
Topoint Technology Co Ltd (尖點科技), a manufacturer and supplier of precision processing tools for printed circuit boards, yesterday reported that net profit for last year decreased 3.9 percent year-on-year to NT$236 million (US$8.05 million), or earnings per share of NT$1.5. The company said its board has agreed to distribute a cash dividend of NT$0.4 per common share and plans to cut its capitalization by 10 percent to adjust its capital structure and return NT$1 in cash per share to shareholders. The company is scheduled to hold this year’s annual shareholders’ meeting on June 14 to sign off on the proposals. The capital reduction plan would see the company’s capitalization drop from NT$1.595 billion to NT$1.435 billion, the company said.
KKday gets fund injection
Travel e-commerce platform KKday on Thursday announced that it has received a new capital investment of US$10.5 million from Japan’s H.I.S. Co Ltd, following a fund injection from investors in Singapore and Hong Kong last year. The Japanese travel giant has branch offices in more than 130 cities worldwide, KKday cofounder and CEO Ming Chen (陳明明) said. “By utilizing H.I.S.’ global resources and integrating it with KKday’s strong marketing and big data programs, we will be able to change the in-destination travel operations model,” Chen said.
Equipment sales still rising
North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment last month reported billings of US$2.36 billion worldwide, the international trade group SEMI said in a news release on Thursday. The trade group said the three-month average of worldwide billings for last month was 1.4 percent lower than the prior month’s US$2.4 billion, but 27.2 percent higher than the US$1.86 billion in the same period a year earlier. “The strong billings levels from late last year have carried over into the new year,” SEMI president and CEO Ajit Manocha said.