Fri, Feb 22, 2019 - Page 11 News List

Taiwan Business Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

SHIPPING

Yang Ming head optimistic

Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) chairman Bronson Hsieh (謝志堅) yesterday gave a positive outlook on the global cargo shipping sector this year, saying that he expects a supply glut-induced slump in freight rates to ease. This year marks a trough for the sector, as demand is expected to grow 3.8 percent, exceeding a 3.2 percent rise in supply, setting the conditions for a recovery, Hsieh said. The sector is also to be helped by lower fuel costs, he said, adding that crude oil prices are expected to hover at about US$65 per barrel, compared with last year’s average of US$70. “It is all good news to us as long as the US$70 mark is not breached,” Hsieh said. As a trade dispute between Beijing and Washington continues to unravel, the company is closely monitoring the migration of factories to alternate destinations outside of China to better plan its service routes, he said.

PETROLEUM

CPC facing pricing pressure

CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) vice president Lee Shun-chin (李順欽) yesterday said that the company is facing increasing pressure to keep its 2007 promise to maintain Taiwan’s oil prices as the lowest among Asian nations. Instead of a NT$0.8 hike to reflect rising international crude prices as dictated by its floating pricing mechanism, the state-run refiner is to slash its rates by NT$0.1 per liter, Lee said, adding that in the past, the mandated pricing limit did not affect the company’s ability to reflect fluctuations in global crude prices. However, in this month alone the company has been unable to raise its prices due to its pledge, Lee said, adding that the firm is drafting a new pricing mechanism similar to the Mean of Platts Singapore, an assessment process employed by the city-state. In related news, amid rumors of a leadership shakeup, CPC chairman Tai Chein (戴謙) did not attend an annual media gathering in Taipei yesterday.

SMARTPHONES

Samsung upbeat on sales

Samsung Electronics Co yesterday said that it expects sales of its latest Galaxy S10 series of flagship smartphones to rise more than 10 percent annually from last year’s Galaxy S9. The technology giant forecast that sales of its premium S10 and larger-screen S10+ would each make up 40 percent of sales, while the budget S10e model would contribute 20 percent this year. The company said that it also aims to improve its sales distribution of flagship, midrange and low-end smartphones in Taiwan from a 20 percent, 20 percent and 60 percent split respectively to a healthier 30 percent, 30 percent and 40 percent mix. Samsung added that it has not ruled out introducing its US$1,980 folding smartphone to Taiwan.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Yuan deposits extend fall

Yuan deposits held by Taiwan’s banks last month dropped for the fourth consecutive month to 290.27 billion yuan (US$43.21 billion), a 2.74 percent decrease from a month earlier, as investors lost interest in the currency, the central bank said yesterday. The figure represented the lowest level since June 2014 as the yuan increasingly loses its appeal as an investment tool. The retreat in yuan deposits was linked to corporate accounts wiring money to China to settle payments and distribute year-end bonuses, the central bank said, adding that the People’s Bank of China eased monetary operations to help support the Chinese economy, which lowered yuan-based borrowing costs.

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