TCB, Visa launch service
Taiwan Cooperative Bank (TCB, 合庫銀行) and Visa Taiwan yesterday implemented the nation’s first standardized, EMV-compliant QR Code payment system as financial institutions seek to tap into the mobile-payment business. The new solution covers the bank’s more than 8,000 acceptance points, the bank said in a statement. The system is to boost the bank’s acceptance footprint, due to its cost-effectiveness as a payment method, TCB chairman Lei Chung-dar (雷仲達) said. Local consumers and overseas travelers will be able to use the same QR Code to make payments wherever the specifications are adopted, Visa Taiwan general manager Marco Ma (麻少華) said.
UBS denies exit plan
UBS Taiwan yesterday issued a statement to dismiss media reports that it plans to pull out of the nation by the end of the year due to sluggish business. “UBS would like to take the opportunity to refute a totally groundless rumor that was circulating in some of the domestic Taiwan media earlier today,” the company said. “Rather, UBS remains fully committed to serving all of its clients in Taiwan and will continue to bolster the depth and breadth of its offering in Taiwan.” Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) told a meeting of the Finance Committee that UBS intended to allow its Hong Kong staff to steer the business in Taiwan.
Aten sales decline
Aten International Co Ltd (宏正), which provides information technology infrastructure solutions, yesterday reported consolidated sales of NT$393 million (US$12.8 million) for last month, a decrease of 7 percent from the same month last year. The breakdown showed that sales of IT infrastructure access management solutions were down 11 percent last month from a year earlier, while professional audio/video products were down 4 percent. USB products dropped 23 percent. Accumulated sales in the first nine months totaled NT$3.76 billion, an increase of 5 percent year-on-year, led by a 39 percent increase in USB products and a 12 percent increase in audio/video products, Aten said.
Wistron withdraws plan
Contract electronics manufacturer Wistron Corp (緯創) yesterday said it is to withdraw a plan to raise capital by issuing global depositary receipts (GDRs). “Due to drastic changes in [the] worldwide political and economic situation, which have hampered the share price, the company is not able to raise fund[s] by Oct. 10, 2018. The company decides to withdraw the GDR fundraising plan,” Wistron said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The company in April won approval from the Financial Supervisory Commission to issue between 20.8 million and 26 million GDRs, aiming to raise between US$197.42 million and US$246.78 million.
Prices tipped to stay high
Cement prices and gross profit per tonne should remain high in the final quarter of the year, Capital Investment Management Corp (群益投顧) said yesterday, citing output restrictions in China amid environmental concerns and limited supply as disciplined production remains. Capital Investment said it has retained “buy” ratings on Taiwan Cement Corp (台灣水泥) and Asia Cement Corp (亞洲水泥), which have substantial shares of the Chinese market, with target prices of NT$50 and NT$48 respectively.
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,
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
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
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