Thu, Feb 28, 2019 - Page 11 News List

Taiwan Business Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

RETAIL

Eslite approves dividends

Eslite Spectrum Corp (誠品生活) on Tuesday said its board has approved a plan to distribute cash dividends of NT$6.8 (US$0.22) per share, representing a payout ratio of 92.9 percent based on last year’s earnings per share (EPS) of NT$7.32. Last year, the company paid cash dividends of NT$7.56 per share against EPS of NT$8.91 in 2017. Revenue last year edged up 5.2 percent from the previous year to NT$4.5 billion, while net income fell 17.98 percent to NT$347 million. Shareholders are to vote on the dividend proposal at an annual general meeting on May 29, the company said.

ELECTRONICS

Cub Elecparts profits rise

Cub Elecparts Inc (為升), which makes electric switches and sensors for cars, on Tuesday reported net profit of NT$1.09 billion for last year, up from NT$1.01 billion a year earlier, but EPS declined from NT$10 to NT$9.48, as shares issued last year diluted its earnings. Gross margin also dropped by 4.85 percentage points to 48.4 percent, while revenue rose 14.3 percent to NT$4.02 billion, it said. The company’s board approved the distribution of a cash dividend of NT$8.3 per common share and a stock dividend of NT$0.5 per share. The firm plans to hold a shareholder meeting on April 17.

BANKING

Interest rates fall 0.113%

The five major state-run banks last month saw their average lending interest rates fall to 1.245 percent, down 0.113 percentage points from 1.358 percent in December last year. The five are Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行), Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合庫銀行), Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行), Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行) and First Commercial Bank (第一銀行). The decline reflects falling interest rates for consumer loans and those intended for corporate working capital, the central bank said on Monday. Excluding government loans, interest rates averaged 1.341 percent, down 0.017 percentage points from 1.358 percent in December, it said.

EMPLOYMENT

Migrant hiring rules to ease

The Ministry of Labor yesterday said that is has completed draft rules to ease regulations on hiring migrant workers to support the return of China-based or overseas-based businesses. The quota on the proportion of migrant worker has been raised 10 percent, with the new cap set at no more than 40 percent, it said. Qualified employers must contribute a NT$7,000 employment security fee and can begin hiring up to half of their quota of migrant workers. The ministry is also drafting separate amendments to allow dairy farmers to hire more seasonal workers.

EQUITIES

Late buys ensure flat close

Shares closed flat yesterday in Taipei after late-session buying boosted select large-cap stocks to help the broader market recoup most of its earlier losses, dealers said. While the electronics sector remained sluggish, the financial sector got a boost from bargain hunting, they said. The TAIEX ended down 2.38 points, or 0.02 percent, at 10,389.17, after moving between 10,343.56 and 10,403.05. Turnover was NT$133.16 billion. “Today’s narrow fluctuations showed caution toward the slower pace of economic growth at home and abroad,” Mega International Investment Services Corp (兆豐國際投信) analyst Alex Huang (黃國偉) said. “As optimism toward a possible deal between the US and China to resolve their trade dispute has been largely factored into share prices, investors shifted their attention back to economic fundamentals.”

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