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.
Alphabet Inc’s Google on Tuesday announced plans to buy a New York office building for US$2.1 billion, confirming its push into the US’ largest city despite the COVID-19 teleworking trend. This is the largest real-estate purchase in the US for an office building since the beginning of the global spread of COVID-19, the Wall Street Journal quoted Real Capital Analytics as saying. Google already rents the premises in Manhattan, which are located on the site of a former railroad terminal in the Hudson Square neighborhood. The Silicon Valley giant envisions a campus with a total surface area of 160,000m2 by mid-2023
‘CORE VALUES’: The contract chipmaker did not specify why the employees were dismissed, but media reports said they had leaked information about customer orders Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has fired seven of its employees for violating the company’s “core values,” the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. While the company did not disclose exactly why it fired the seven employees, local media reports earlier in the day said that the employees had leaked confidential information about customer orders. In a statement, the company said that it fired the seven at once, adding that it released an internal notice last week to inform the entire company of the move ahead of the four-day Mid-Autumn Festival holilday, which ended on Tuesday. TSMC said it fired the seven
MILD ADJUSTMENT: Two previous efforts failed to curtail mortgage financing, although the new measures should not affect property prices, the central bank governor said The central bank yesterday tightened credit controls for second-home mortgages in specific areas and purchases of plots of land, especially in industrial parks. However, the nation’s top monetary policymaker kept its policy rate at a record-low 1.125 percent for the sixth consecutive quarter, despite revising up its GDP growth forecast for this year from 5.08 percent to 5.75 percent. “Board members factored in economic uncertainty at home and around the world,” central bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) said, adding that growing inflationary pressure was a temporary phenomenon induced by bad weather and a low base effect for oil prices. International fuel price increases
DOWNCYCLE: Most buyers are wary about placing new orders, and although the decline could also be as little as 3%, it would be the first drop since the start of the year The average selling price of DRAM chips next quarter is expected to decline by up to 8 percent quarter-on-quarter, with memory chips used in notebook computers and consumer electronics seeing the steepest decline due to excess inventory and a shortage of components, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday. That means the DRAM industry is entering a new downcycle after experiencing a boom for three quarters, the longest uptrend in the history of the industry. The Taipei-based researcher said it expects the balance between supply and demand to begin tilting toward a surplus in the final quarter of this year. Most DRAM