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.
Google on Thursday restructured its responsible artificial intelligence (AI) efforts to centralize teams under a single executive, Marian Croak, a move by the Internet giant to stabilize groups working on ethics research and products after months of chaos. Croak, a vice president of engineering, would be the lead for the Responsible AI Research and Engineering Center of Expertise, she said in a YouTube video announcing her appointment. The Alphabet Inc unit has sought to defuse employee rancor stemming from the acrimonious departure of a prominent black researcher, Timnit Gebru. Croak, a black Google executive who is currently focused on site-reliability matters, would report
‘LESS DUMB’ LIQUIDITY: If more companies start to speculate in cryptocurrency, ‘we’re going to be in bubble territory before you know it,’ a market analyst said Bitcoin is closing in on a market value of US$1 trillion, a surge that is helping cryptocurrency returns far outstrip the performance of more traditional assets such as stocks and gold. The largest token has added more than US$415 billion of value this year to about US$956 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, which includes bitcoin and four other coins, has more than doubled. Speculators, corporate treasurers and institutional investors are thought to have stoked bitcoin’s volatile ascent. Crypto believers are dueling with skeptics for the dominant narrative around the climb: The former see an asset being
PUNCTURE-PROOF: Air Fom tires are made of material used in sports shoe soles and offer a comfortable ride, although people are still skeptical about solid tires Getting a flat tire is a nightmare for cyclists, sending home early any rider who had ventured outdoors without a repair kit or spare inner tubes. Although punctured tires have long been a pain point for cyclists, the problem has never been effectively resolved, despite the bicycle industry going back centuries. A few products have been developed to help reduce the likelihood of flat tires: puncture-resistant tires, which are thicker than usual tires or come with a protective layer; anti-puncture tapes, which are placed between the tire and inner tube to offer extra protection; and tubeless systems that use sealant to close
LONG-TERM PLAN: The company expects growth in revenue from its automotive business this year and that it would contribute meaningfully to sales from 2023 Hon Hai Precision Industry Co’s (鴻海精密) new electric vehicle (EV) platform is expected to help launch vehicles later this year, chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) said on Saturday, signifying major progress in the electronics giant’s push into the automotive industry. Two light vehicles designed using the company’s MIH Open Platform would be unveiled in the fourth quarter, Liu told reporters at the company’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Tucheng District (土城). Hon Hai might at the same time also help launch an electric bus, he said. Hon Hai has been seeking to expand its automotive capabilities at a time when technology companies including