Forex losses hit record high
Local life insurers reported NT$200.8 billion (US$6.52 billion) in foreign exchange losses for the first 11 months of this year, a record for the period, due to higher hedging costs amid an increasing interest rate spread between Taiwan and the US, Financial Supervisory Commission statistics released yesterday showed. Property insurers reported foreign exchange losses of NT$1.2 billion for the same period, the data showed. Local life insurers booked foreign exchange gains of NT$318.9 billion as of the end of last month, as the New Taiwan dollar depreciated 3.36 percent against the US dollar in the first 11 months, the data showed. However, those gains were offset by heavy hedging losses totaling NT$494.1 billion as of Nov. 30, the data showed.
Macronix to boost spending
Macronix Internatonal Co (旺宏電子), the world’s biggest NOR flash memorychip maker, on Monday said that its board of directors has approved additional capital spending of NT$865 million for regular operations next year. In October, the board gave the green light to capital expenditure of NT$14.2 billion to boost high-end chip capacity to meet demand from clients. The budget is to be spent from the current quarter. The board also approved the renewal of an agreement with IBM Corp to develop a new phase-change memory chip, the company said.
TAIEX follows Wall Street up
The TAIEX yesterday rose 1.72 percent on a technical rebound as buying was sparked by a strong showing on Wall Street overnight — with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 4.98 percent — in its biggest-ever single-day point gain. Turnover totaled NT$81.32 billion. Foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$7.63 billion of shares on the main board. Foreign institutional investors had apparently not returned from the Christmas holiday, a market analyst said. A rebound in technology companies in the US overnight lifted the domestic bellwether electronics sector, with shaers of contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, rising 3.46 percent to close at NT$224. Also in the technology sector, shares of Largan Precision Co (大立光), a smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple Inc, added 0.32 percent to close at NT$3,135 and iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) shares edged up 0.85 percent to end at NT$70.80.
Tuntex Mart to close down
Tuntex Mart, the largest hypermarket in Keelung, is to cease operations on Feb. 18 amid escalating competition from online vendors, the Keelung City Government said on Wednesday. A total of 136 people would be laid off due to the closure, Keelung Department of Social Affairs Director Wu Ting-feng (吳挺鋒) told reporters. It had been rumored that Tuntex Mart, which opened in 1994, would close due to rising operating costs and a decline in foot traffic. The layoffs are to occur in three phases, with the first to be completed by Feb. 4, the second by Feb. 19 and the third by Feb. 28, Wu said. Tuntex Mart informed the department of the layoff plan and talks on the issue have proceeded smoothly, Wu said, adding that the city government would pay close attention to the discussions to protect the rights of the affected workers. Tuntex Mart would have to ensure that affected workers receive wages, overtime pay and compensation for the layoffs, he said.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
STAYING AHEAD: TSMC expects its sales this year to grow 14 to 19 percent and could spend up to US$3.52 billion on research and development, leaving its rivals far behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) reported that the US last year approved 99 percent of its patent applications, which placed the tech giant among the top patent holders in the US. In its Corporate Social Responsibility Report, TSMC said it last year secured about 3,600 patents worldwide, including more than 2,300 in the US. As of the end of last year, TSMC owned more than 39,000 patents, the report said. The company last year filed almost 6,500 patent applications worldwide and ranked among the top 10 patent applicants in the US. In Taiwan, it was the largest patent applicant for the fourth