Share prices of smartphone maker HTC Corp (宏達電) rose yesterday as it announced it will carry out a buyback plan to purchase up to NT$6.3 billion (US$197 million) worth of shares to “boost employee morale.” \nA company board meeting late on Sunday night approved the share repurchase proposal to buy back 10 million shares at NT$526 to NT$631 per share between today and Sept. 12. \nThe buyback will account for 1.29 percent of the company’s total shares in circulation. \nThe shares will later be resold to company employees, according to the board meeting decision. \n“The company wants to transfer the shares obtained from the repurchase scheme to the employees, a move we expect will boost employee morale,” an HTC spokeswoman said. \nBRAIN DRAIN \nWhile many market observers said that HTC is likely to face a brain drain of talented staff to its rivals due to fierce competition in the smartphone market, the spokeswoman said only that “the reason behind the share buyback is very simple. Do not over-analyze the situation.” \nHowever, Edward Chen, an analyst with First Capital Management Ltd, said the company is expanding its business globally and that it is very important to find ways to keep its employees. \n“The transfer of company shares from the buyback is a good way of keeping employees,” Chen said. \n“HTC has an ambition to further polish its brand image in the global market and lifting employee morale and encouraging them to work hard is part of these efforts,” he said. \nIn the second quarter of this year, HTC posted NT$60.53 billion in sales on rising demand for high-end mobile phones such as Desire, Legend, Incredible and EVO, up about 60.6 percent from the first quarter and beating market expectations. \n \nRECORD SALES \nLast month alone, HTC sales hit a record high of NT$23.86 billion, up 4.98 percent from May. \n“The company has healthy fundamentals and plenty of cash on hand. The share buyback is unlikely to affect its financial condition,” Chen said. \nAccording to HTC, the company has about NT$68.2 billion in cash on hand. \nChen said the buyback scheme is expected to continue to lend strong support to the company’s share price.
DRESDEN TECH HUB: A Europe plant would buffer the firm from geopolitical risks and better serve EU clients, sources said, although no decision has been made, TSMC said Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is studying the feasibility of a fab in Europe, the chipmaker said in response to a Taiwanese media report stating that it is planning to build a plant in Dresden, Germany. The Chinese-language Commercial Times reported yesterday that the company has chosen the German semiconductor hub of Dresden for a fab, with production slated to start in 2025. The report said the investment in Germany would meet strong European demand for TSMC’s specialty processes and mitigate potential geopolitical barriers. Citing sources from within TSMC’s supply chain, the report said the proposed fab would make use of Dresden’s
LOOKING TO GROW: A survey showed that 71 percent of executives at chipmakers said that they aim to increase their global workforce this year An overwhelming majority of semiconductor executives expect revenue to grow this year, driven mainly by automotive applications that are putting wireless communications to the backseat, a survey released yesterday by global consultancy firm KPMG showed. Eighty-one percent of respondents said that their company’s revenue would increase over the next year, and half of them said they expect growth of more than 10 percent, the survey of 151 global semiconductor executives last quarter showed. Although lower than last year’s 95 percent and 68 percent respectively, the findings are encouraging in light of recent economic uncertainty, inflation, monetary tightening and geopolitical tensions, a KPMG
TAKING OFF: Net profit soared 29.5 percent annually last year to a record NT$15.37 billion, as GlobalWafers received record-high prepayments from customers, it said Semiconductor inventory corrections should end next quarter, paving the way for a pickup in demand in the second half of this year, GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓) said yesterday. As a majority of its customers believe demand would bounce back in the second half, the world’s No. 3 silicon wafer maker said it is keeping most of its factories fully utilized to ensure sufficient supply. “Our customers have committed to take those wafers. They only requested to push back shipments by a month or two,” GlobalWafers chairwoman Doris Hsu (徐秀蘭) told an investors’ teleconference. “Overall industry inventory adjustment should be mostly resolved in the second
The London Metal Exchange (LME) discovered bags of stones instead of the nickel that underpinned a handful of its contracts at a warehouse in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in a revelation that would deliver another blow to confidence in the embattled exchange. The amount of metal represents just 0.14 percent of live nickel inventories on the LME, worth about US$1.3 million at current prices, so the immediate effect on the metals markets is limited. However, the shock announcement has much wider implications. In an industry riddled with scandals, the LME’s contracts are viewed as unquestionably safe. The news that even a few of