Virgin America clears hurdle
A new airline called Virgin America said on Friday it had passed a major hurdle in its bid to gain approval for domestic US service, and hopes to start passenger flights by early next year. The wannabe low-cost airline has been licensed to use the "Virgin" brand by Britain's Virgin Group, but is independent from the companies headed by Richard Branson. The US company said that it had successfully passed the Federal Aviation Administration's airline certification review process, and is awaiting final approval from the Department of Transportation before taking to the skies.
Bank predicts low inflation
Taiwan's central bank expects inflation this year to fall below the statistics agency's forecast of 0.68 percent, Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) said on Friday in a report which is to be delivered to the Legislative Yuan tomorrow. "For the whole of this year, the annual rise in CPI will probably be below the statistics agency's forecast of 0.68 percent," Perng said in the report. In the first 11 months, the CPI rose an average of 0.59 percent from a year earlier, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said. Next year's average CPI rise will accelerate to 1.52 percent, though it is still lower than the DGBAS target of 2 percent, Perng said.
Goodyear, union reach deal
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co and the union representing about 12,600 US workers reached a tentative deal on a new contract that would bring an end to an 11-week strike over health care benefits. The tiremaker and the United Steelworkers union reached the deal on Friday after both sides resumed talks early this week. The strike began on Oct. 5. The deal allows Goodyear to stick with plans to close an unprofitable plant in Tyler, Texas that makes wholesale private label tires, but provides for a one-year transition period during which workers will have the opportunity to take advantage of retirement buyouts. Workers will vote at ratification meetings in their communities on Thursday.
Brokerage heads set to quit
The two most senior executives of Nikko Cordial Corp, one of Japan's top brokerages, are expected to resign as early as tomorrow over alleged accounting irregularities, news reports said yesterday. Nikko Cordial, which has an investment banking alliance with Citigroup, plans to hold an emergency board meeting tomorrow when Nikko Cordial chairman Masashi Kaneko and chief executive Junichi Arimura are expected to resign, Japan's largest daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported. Business daily Nihon Keizai and Kyodo News agency had similar reports. On Monday, Japan's financial watchdog recommended a ?500 million (US$4.24 million) fine against Nikko Cordial for allegedly padding profits.
CTSP set for growth
The Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP, 中部科學園區) is expected to have the largest congregation of 12-inch silicon wafer fabrication factories in the country, with 14 companies deciding to build their foundries there, the director of the CTSP preparatory office said yesterday. Yang Wen-ko (楊文科) said the park is currently home to 85 factories, 28 of which are precision machinery plants. There are also 25 plants manufacturing opto-electronic products in the Taichung County-based science facility.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be
Yageo Corp (國巨), the world’s third-largest supplier of multilayer ceramic capacitors, has formed a strategic alliance with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) to develop key electronic components for electric vehicles and digital healthcare, it said yesterday. The alliance is to help Yageo boost its revenue from high-end components for vehicles and industrial, medical and aerospace devices, as well as those used in 5G and Internet-of-Things devices, the company said. The companies signed the strategic alliance agreement at Yageo’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店). Their cooperation is to start this quarter, the companies said in a joint statement. “Through the cooperation
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,