Office space in demand
The take-up rate of grade A office space in Taichung rose to 80 percent last year, from 68 percent in 2016, as demand increased, a survey conducted by Colliers International Taichung branch (高力國際) showed yesterday. Because the luxury housing market remains sluggish, real-estate funds have been investing in commercial property, the international property broker said. A total of 54,923 ping (181,564m2) of grade A office space is to join the market in central Taichung this year, including a new building owned by CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控) and Taiwan Life Insurance Co (台灣人壽), the broker said.
ITRI, Merck to collaborate
The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院) yesterday said it has inked a memorandum of understanding with Merck KGaA on a collaboration program to cultivate professionals in the biopharma sector. The program, to be officially launched in May, is expected to help expand the global market share of the local biopharma industry and create new business opportunities in the precision medicine market, the ITRI said in a statement. As part of the project, Merck is to introduce manufacturing technologies for antibody-drug conjugates, helping Taiwanese companies to enter advanced international pharmaceutical markets. The global biopharma market is estimated to be worth US$278 billion by 2020, the ITRI said.
FDC dividend proposed
Hotel and restaurant operator FDC International Hotels Corp (FDC, 雲品國際) yesterday said its board has approved a plan to distribute a cash dividend of NT$2.75 per share based on last year’s earnings. The hotelier posted NT$228 million (US$7.82 million) in net income for last year, or earnings per share of NT$3.48, the company said in a statement last week. The result represented a 19 percent year-on-year increase as its strategy to acquire restaurants and strengthen its service quality paid off, the statement said.
E-Ton to reduce capital
Solar cell maker E-Ton Solar Technology Co (益通光能) yesterday said its board has approved a plan to reduce its share capital by 59 percent to improve its financial structure. After the reduction, E-Ton would have share capital of NT$3.19 billion. The company has accumulated losses of NT$6.75 billion. E-Ton plans to allocate the NT$2.15 billion surplus to reduce its losses to NT$4.6 billion. Last year, E-Ton lost NT$2.62 billion, marking its ninth consecutive unprofitable year.
Macronix touts NOR flash
Memorychip maker Macronix International Co Ltd (旺宏) yesterday said TMicroelectronics is using its NOR flash memory for the company’s new STM32L4+ microcontroller Discovery kits and evaluation boards. Macronix said its latest MX25LM 8-bit I/O Series NOR flash series meets the growing demand for “instant-on” performance and real-time system responsiveness in automotive, industrial and consumer applications. ST’s new ultra-low-power, high-performance STM32L4+ is equipped to operate as the central controller in a full range of fitness bands, “smart” watches, medical equipment, “smart” meters and industrial sensors which require sophisticated functions, instant responses and minimal downtime for battery charging, the company said.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported that revenue last month expanded 25 percent annually, but fell 12.8 percent month-on-month to NT$105.96 billion (US$3.59 billion). In the first seven months of this year, the chipmaker’s revenue surged 33.6 percent to NT$727.26 billion, compared with NT$544.46 billion a year earlier. TSMC has said it aims to grow its revenue by more than 20 percent this year. The company has since May 15 stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies Co (華為), its second-biggest customer after Apple Inc, due to the US’ restrictions on exports containing US technologies. TSMC has no plans to