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Asus, Acer aver ongoing ties with Intel

By Lauly Li

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) and Acer Inc (宏碁) yesterday said their relationships with Intel Corp would remain unaffected amid speculation about the computer chip giant’s planned exit from the mobile chip market. Intel is canceling its Atom chips — provisionally titled Broxton and SoFIA —FULL STORY

HTC foresees Taiwan sales boom

By Lauly Li

HTC Corp (宏達電) expects smartphone sales in Taiwan to climb by a double-digit percentage this quarter from last quarter, fueled by the launches of flagship and mid-end handsets, a top executive said yesterday. Sales of the company’s HTC 10 smartphone in the firm’s home marketFULL STORY

Plastics industry should aim at medical: advocate

By Aileen Chuang

The plastics industry should aim to develop high-end polymer applications as a strategy to boost the nation’s global competitiveness, Plastics Industry Development Center (PIDC, 塑膠工業技術發展中心) president Hsiao Yao-kuei (蕭耀貴) said yesterday. “About 70 to 80 percent of the plastic medical devices that are usedFULL STORY

FocalTech blames quarterly loss on earthquake fallout

By Lisa Wang

FocalTech Systems Co Ltd (敦泰科技), which has a 50 percent share of China’s touch controller chip market, swung to a quarterly loss of NT$96.55 million (US$2,998 million) in the first quarter as a strong earthquake delayed shipments. Last quarter’s losses compared with net profit of NT$28.67FULL STORY

Cathay Financial looks at options for huge cash pile

By Ted Chen

Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) yesterday said it is still seeking viable investment opportunities for its NT$159.8 billion (US$4.96 billion) cash position. “We retain a high level of interest in long-term domestic investments, including equities, commercial real estate and other projects,” Cathay Financial president Lee Chang-kenFULL STORY

PMI reaches 54.9, but low comparison mutes gains

By Crystal Hsu

The nation’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) registered 54.9 last month, above the 50 threshold indicating improvement in the sector, the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER, 中華經濟研究院) said yesterday. However, the institute said the result for last month had more to do with aFULL STORY

Sales of new cars drop from April

By Aileen Chuang

New car sales reached 34,953 units last month, down 7 percent from the previous month and up 0.8 percent from a year earlier, according to statistics compiled by Chunghwa Telecom Co’s (中華電信) data communication branch. The auto market saw its second consecutive month of growth lastFULL STORY

FSC says local bourse is undergoing correction

By Ted Chen

The TAIEX is undergoing a corrective period that is expected to persist for at least two more weeks, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairwoman Jennifer Wang (王儷玲) said yesterday. Wang’s comments came after the TAIEX shed 1 percent to close at 8,294.12 points, falling below the 26-weekFULL STORY

Taiwan Business Quick Take

TECHNOLOGY GlobalWafers’ profit plunges GlobalWafers Co Ltd (環球晶圓), the world’s No. 6 wafer supplier, yesterday said net profit plunged 37.8 percent to NT$287 million (US$89.1 million) in the first quarter, compared with NT$464 million in the previous quarter, due to lower average selling prices and higher costs.FULL STORY

Australia cuts benchmark rate to 1.75%

Australia’s central bank yesterday cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low 1.75 percent as it responded to a low outlook for inflation. The Reserve Bank of Australia board decided to cut the cash rate by 0.25 percentage points from its previous low of 2FULL STORY

China PMI fell again last month: Caixin

Chinese factory activity weakened further last month, a private survey indicated yesterday, as muted demand and market weakness hit the struggling export-oriented sector. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) by Caixin, which tracks activity in the nation’s factories and workshops, fell to 49.4, a 0.3 pointFULL STORY

IMF predicts sharp decline in growth for China, Japan

China and Japan’s economies are expected to slow sharply over the next two years but Asian growth is set to remain strong as domestic demand takes up the slack from weak global trade, the IMF said yesterday. Government stimulus measures, lower commodity prices and low unemploymentFULL STORY

EU-US pact negotiations likely to fail, France says

Negotiations for a vast US-EU trade pact, which aims to create a free-trade zone covering 850 million people, are likely to grind to a halt because of Washington’s reluctance to make concessions, a top French trade official said yesterday. “In view of the US’ state ofFULL STORY

China consortium to re-evaluate bid for Australia cattle firm

A China-led consortium seeking to buy Australia’s S Kidman & Co withdrew its A$371 million (US$282.59 million) bid for the country’s largest private land-holding company and is planning to make another, a partner in the purchase attempt said yesterday. Australia last week rejected the bid forFULL STORY

HSBC net profit falls 18% on first-quarter volatility

HSBC Holdings PLC’s net profit fell by a fifth in the first quarter as it was hit by “extreme levels” of volatility in world markets in January and February, with bad loan costs almost doubling, it said. However, HSBC chief executive officr Stuart Gulliver said: “OurFULL STORY

World Business Quick Take

INDIA Apple’s handset bid fails The nation has rejected Apple Inc’s request to import and sell refurbished iPhones to the world’s second-largest mobile population, dealing a blow to its plans to court price-conscious consumers there. The US company’s application has been turned down, a Department of TelecommunicationsFULL STORY

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