King Yuan’s profit surges
Taiwanese chip packager and tester King Yuan Electronics Co (京元電子) on Friday posted NT$2.98 billion (US$96.07 million) in net profit for last year, a 30 percent jump from 2015’s NT$2.28 billion. Earnings per share last year rose to NT$2.56 from NT$1.93 over the period, the company said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Buoyed by the strong results, the company’s board approved a cash dividend distribution of NT$1.4 per common share, representing 5.07 percent of dividend yield based on the stock’s closing price of NT$27.6 on Friday. The board also agreed to distribute a stock dividend of 4 percent.
Mexico takes aim at NAFTA
Mexico is prepared to negotiate changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexican Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo said on Friday. He said Mexico is prepared to discuss revisions to “modernize” the agreement such as including labor and environmental standards. However, Guajardo said Mexico would not accept the tariffs called for by US President Donald Trump. “It makes no sense to introduce an agreement with border restrictions or tariffs,” he said.
Nissan misconduct alleged
The United Auto Workers (UAW) union said that Nissan Motor Co broke US federal labor law less than two days before a Mississippi rally where US Senator Bernie Sanders was to speak for unionization. The UAW said that on Thursday, a company security guard wrongfully stopped workers from distributing literature and asking fellow employees to authorize a union vote outside a gate of the Canton plant. Nissan spokesman Brian Brockman said the company is investigating, but is not sure yet what happened. Nissan management opposes a union. The choice ultimately belongs to workers, Brockman said.
PMI suggests UK slowing
Britain’s unexpectedly strong economic growth since June last year’s Brexit vote might be starting to fade as inflation picks up, according to a major business survey. Slowing consumer spending started to hurt services companies last month, an unpromising signal for the economy ahead of the departure, the Markit/CIPS UK Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed on Friday. The services PMI fell to a five-month low of 53.3 from January’s 54.5, suggesting the economy is now expanding at a quarterly pace of about 0.4 percent — much slower than the 0.7 percent expansion during the fourth quarter of last year.
UCF eyes Hong Kong Life
A consortium including China UCF Group Co (中國先鋒金融集團) is vying with Yue Xiu Group (越秀集團) to acquire Hong Kong Life Insurance Ltd (香港人壽), according to people familiar with the matter. UCF is in late-stage discussions with Hong Kong Life’s owners, who wish to reach an agreement by the end of the month, the people said. The Beijing-based financial group is bidding together with Hong Kong-listed Credit China FinTech Holdings Ltd (中國信貸科技控股), the people said. Hong Kong Life’s owners are discussing a valuation of more than US$700 million, one of the people said. Yue Xiu, an investment arm of Guangzhou, also remains in talks, the people said.
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,