Chip sales rise 12.5%
Global semiconductor sales rose 12.5 percent last month on higher demand for chips used in personal computers and consumer electronics, a trade group said. The growth marked the sixth consecutive monthly gain. Sales increased to US$13.42 billion from US$11.93 billion in August of last year, the San Jose, California-based Semiconductor Industry Association, or SIA, said in a statement. Sales gained 4 percent from July. Demand for semiconductors used in PCs, mobile phones and DVD players is starting to recover after chip sales fell or stagnated for the past two years. The benchmark Philadelphia Semiconductor Index has gained 47 percent this year. "August sales confirm the broad-based strength of the semicon-ductor market, led by demand in the consumer, computer and wireless sectors," SIA president George Scalise said.
Samsung will be NAND king
South Korean microchip giant Samsung Electronics yesterday unveiled an array of new memory technologies designed to leverage its industry leadership globally. Samsung's new technologies include the world's first 70-nanometer, four-gigabit NAND flash memory and an 80-nanometer dynamic random access memory (DRAM) device. The world's largest DRAM maker said it has developed a single chip memory solution, called fusion memory, which takes the multi-chip package and system-in-package concepts a step further to deliver a single design combining memory and logic. Samsung hopes to keep a 65-percent share in the NAND flash market, which will jump from US$3 billion this year to US$16 billion by 2007.
Singapore MDs can use ads
Medical practitioners in Singapore could soon get the green light to advertise their services, allowing them to compete better with their regional rivals, the Straits Times reported yesterday. The medical fraternity, whose attempts to capture a slice of the lucrative regional health care services sector have been handicapped by the ban on advertising, has pushed for the policy change, the newspaper said. The changes could take effect from January next year. Singapore is aiming to build itself as a regional health care service provider and a government-appointed panel has set the target of bringing in one million foreign patients each year by 2012. The target, if achieved, could pump US$3 billion into the economy and create 13,000 jobs. In 2000, the city-state earned US$345 million from foreign patients.
Deutsche Bank sells land
Deutsche Bank, the biggest bank in Germany, is close to reaching an agreement to sell 1 billion euros (US$1.14 billion) worth of real estate in Europe to the private equity firm Blackstone with a view to strengthening its own funds, the Financial Times reported yesterday. Two thirds of the properties in question were situated in Germany, in Munich, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt. The remainder was in Barcelona, Brussels, Milan, Lisbon and Zurich, the newspaper said, without revealing its sources. The transaction would be effected in such a way that the bank would continue to occupy most of the property, FT added. A Deutsche Bank spokesman refused to comment on the information. Separately, the bank said it was considering farming out its information technology services activities, particu-larly software programming and writing.