The valuations of the nation’s securities brokerages have slumped as the TAIEX approaches the one-year anniversary of it moving above 10,000 points. The price-to-book ratios of local brokerages have fallen to about 0.7, the lowest level in recent years, data compiled by the Taiwan Stock Exchange showed. Despite significantly higher daily turnover of more than NT$100 billion (US$3.36 billion) during 10 out of the past 12 quarters, investors have been lukewarm on higher fee income resulting from higher trading volume.
CHT mulling Internet bank
Chunghwa Telecom Co (CHT, 中華電信) chairman David Cheng (鄭優) yesterday confirmed that the company is exploring plans to open an Internet-only bank by partnering with local state-run lenders. The telecom has been in talks with Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行) and Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐銀行), Cheng said, adding that a plan would begin to take shape in the next month or two. CHT has a sizeable pool of subscribers and it could leverage that advantage to transform a phone number into a virtual bank account that could be used for daily transactions, industry observers said. The Financial Supervisory Commission last month said that it would begin accepting license applications for two Internet-only banks and that it has been in talks with Japan’s Line Corp and Rakuten Inc.
GSMA-certified lab planned
Asia Pacific Telecom Co (亞太電信) yesterday announced plans to build the nation’s first GSMA-certified laboratory to speed up the development of the nation’s Internet of Things (IoT) industry. The laboratory would be the 36th globally and support the development of narrow-band IoT as well as LTE-M standards, which aims to enable a wide range of devices and services to be connected using cellular telecommunication bands while maintaining energy efficiency. The telecom would invite module and end device makers to take advantage of its laboratory, it said.
CTCI wins terminal bid
CTCI Corp (中鼎工程), a leading engineering services provider, has won a tender for a US$240 million liquefied natural gas terminal project in India for conglomerate Adani Group. Adani Group yesterday confirmed that CTCI won the bid and on April 24 signed an agreement with Adani Energy, a unit of the Indian conglomerate. It is the largest contract secured by a Taiwanese company in the 18 nations targeted by the government’s New Southbound Policy since it was launched in May 2016. The terminal is to be built at Dhamra Port in Odisha state and it is to have an annual capacity of 5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas, Adani Group said. The firm did not disclose any other details of the tender, such as when construction is expected to start.
Payment system deployed
Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦銀行) on Sunday announced that it has deployed a blockchain-based payment system for restaurants and merchants near National Chengchi University after development began in March last year. The payment system utilizes the Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance algorithm, which cuts the transaction time to less than 1 second, making it suitable for wider adoption, the bank said, adding that businesses benefit from improved bookkeeping by using blockchain-based payment systems.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a