Bank of Taiwan hikes rates \n \nThe Bank of Taiwan (台灣銀行) decided yesterday to raise its interest rates by between 0.05 percentage points and 0.075 percentage points, lifting its floating and fixed interest rates for one-year time deposits to 1.59 percent and 1.62 percent respectively, following the central bank's rate hikes yesterday. \nThe bank of Taiwan's decision will take effect next Monday. \nOther state-run banks, such as First Commercial Bank (第銀行), Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行), the Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行), Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫) and Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行), have not decided whether to follow suit for the time being. \nConsumers more dissatisfied \n \nThe non-profit Consumers' Foundation (消基會) reported yesterday that, as of Dec. 28, the organization received 53,858 complaints from the public during the year. Cases were filed through telephone calls, in written form or through consultations with its volunteer lawyers. \nBy including complaints made over the phone, the figure increased sixfold from the 8,149 cases recorded in 2003. \nThe top five areas with the most public dissatisfaction are: telecommunications, cosmetics, banking services, insurance and leisure activities, according to the foundation. \nBusiness compensations or refunds it helped consumers to obtain last year surpassed NT$67 million (US$2 million). \nTo serve more people, starting today it offers free services when consumers file complaints with the foundation. It used to charge basic handling fees to support the organization's operation. \nTobacco and Liquor privatizes \n \nThe state-owned Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp (台灣菸酒公司) plans to release 51 percent of its shares to the public in three stages this year, in an effort to finalize privatization by the year-end as scheduled, the company's chairman Morgan Hwang (黃營杉) said yesterday. \nThe company will first release 15 percent of stakes in June, and another 31 percent and 5 percent in September and November respectively. \nThe firm's privatization scheme has been submitted to the Ministry of Finance and directed to the Executive Yuan for examination. The Cabinet is expected to approve the scheme by Jan. 13, Huang said. \nThe company is slated to transform into a publicly traded firm on Jan. 11 and to lodge its application for initial public offering in March, according to the plan. \nForeign firms pay better \n \nMore than 96 percent of foreign enterprises in Taiwan hand out year-end bonuses equivalent to 2.78 times the usual monthly salary on average, according to a survey released by the human resource agency 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行) yesterday. \nAlthough these enterprises give an impression of rewarding employees with better pay and benefits packages, 93 percent of the 1,316 respondents polled said they plan to change jobs soon. \nThe survey showed that Japanese information-technology companies and mass media outlets topped the list by giving out four-month bonuses. American info-tech businesses will give less than two-month bonuses. \nChinatrust leaves Paraguay \n \nChinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託) of Taiwan has announced it is pulling out of Paraguay, and gave accountholders until Jan. 15 to withdraw their funds. \nHansjorg Brehm, the bank's director general, said that the bank had decided on an orderly pullout from the South American nation. Brehm did not give a reason for the end of operations here.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported that revenue last month expanded 25 percent annually, but fell 12.8 percent month-on-month to NT$105.96 billion (US$3.59 billion). In the first seven months of this year, the chipmaker’s revenue surged 33.6 percent to NT$727.26 billion, compared with NT$544.46 billion a year earlier. TSMC has said it aims to grow its revenue by more than 20 percent this year. The company has since May 15 stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies Co (華為), its second-biggest customer after Apple Inc, due to the US’ restrictions on exports containing US technologies. TSMC has no plans to
The US stock market has been on a tear, yet the country’s economy is in the dumps. So why do so many people believe — undoubtedly incorrectly — that the stock market has decoupled from reality? The economy many people experience, while bleak, is local, personal and, for the most part, either not publicly traded or plays only a small part in the stock market’s moves. To explain why these personal experiences have so little effect on equity markets, we must look more closely at the market role of the weakest industry sectors. The surprising conclusion: The most visible and economically vulnerable