The valuations of the nation’s securities brokerages have slumped as the TAIEX approaches the one-year anniversary of it moving above 10,000 points. The price-to-book ratios of local brokerages have fallen to about 0.7, the lowest level in recent years, data compiled by the Taiwan Stock Exchange showed. Despite significantly higher daily turnover of more than NT$100 billion (US$3.36 billion) during 10 out of the past 12 quarters, investors have been lukewarm on higher fee income resulting from higher trading volume.
CHT mulling Internet bank
Chunghwa Telecom Co (CHT, 中華電信) chairman David Cheng (鄭優) yesterday confirmed that the company is exploring plans to open an Internet-only bank by partnering with local state-run lenders. The telecom has been in talks with Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行) and Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐銀行), Cheng said, adding that a plan would begin to take shape in the next month or two. CHT has a sizeable pool of subscribers and it could leverage that advantage to transform a phone number into a virtual bank account that could be used for daily transactions, industry observers said. The Financial Supervisory Commission last month said that it would begin accepting license applications for two Internet-only banks and that it has been in talks with Japan’s Line Corp and Rakuten Inc.
GSMA-certified lab planned
Asia Pacific Telecom Co (亞太電信) yesterday announced plans to build the nation’s first GSMA-certified laboratory to speed up the development of the nation’s Internet of Things (IoT) industry. The laboratory would be the 36th globally and support the development of narrow-band IoT as well as LTE-M standards, which aims to enable a wide range of devices and services to be connected using cellular telecommunication bands while maintaining energy efficiency. The telecom would invite module and end device makers to take advantage of its laboratory, it said.
CTCI wins terminal bid
CTCI Corp (中鼎工程), a leading engineering services provider, has won a tender for a US$240 million liquefied natural gas terminal project in India for conglomerate Adani Group. Adani Group yesterday confirmed that CTCI won the bid and on April 24 signed an agreement with Adani Energy, a unit of the Indian conglomerate. It is the largest contract secured by a Taiwanese company in the 18 nations targeted by the government’s New Southbound Policy since it was launched in May 2016. The terminal is to be built at Dhamra Port in Odisha state and it is to have an annual capacity of 5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas, Adani Group said. The firm did not disclose any other details of the tender, such as when construction is expected to start.
Payment system deployed
Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦銀行) on Sunday announced that it has deployed a blockchain-based payment system for restaurants and merchants near National Chengchi University after development began in March last year. The payment system utilizes the Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance algorithm, which cuts the transaction time to less than 1 second, making it suitable for wider adoption, the bank said, adding that businesses benefit from improved bookkeeping by using blockchain-based payment systems.
SUPPLY CHAIN RESHUFFLE: The chipmaker was ‘cautious’ in not making commitments too early in building production in the US, citing ‘geopolitical factors,’ Nikkei Asia said Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is considering building an advanced IC packaging plant in the US following a massive investment to set up a wafer fab in Arizona, Nikkei Asia reported. TSMC was considering the plant in response to “Washington’s desire to bring more of the tech supply chain onto home turf,” the report said. TSMC increasingly faces the need to expand in the US, which accounts for about 62 percent of its total sales, Nikkei Asia said, citing three sources who declined to be named. The potential US plant would be equipped with the latest 3D stacking technologies to arrange chips
As much as the US pines for the good old days of global semiconductor supremacy, Japan feels its loss of glory even more. Once a dominant name in electronic components, the nation has been overtaken by Taiwan, South Korea, and, more recently, China. Yet Tokyo might have a viable plan to revitalize its domestic sector. “Unlike the purely domestic, independent way it was done in the past, I think we need to cooperate with overseas counterparts,” Akira Amari, a former economy minister and senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, told Bloomberg News’ Isabel Reynolds and Emi Nobuhiro this week. That is
Apple Inc has hired Ulrich Kranz, a former senior executive at BMW AG’s electric vehicle (EV) division, to help lead its own vehicle efforts, people familiar with the situation said. The tech giant hired Kranz in recent weeks, about a month after he stepped down as CEO of Canoo Inc, a developer of self-driving EVs. Before cofounding Canoo, Kranz was senior vice president of the group that developed the i3 and i8 cars at BMW, where he worked for 30 years. Kranz is one of Apple’s most significant automotive hires, a clear sign that the iPhone maker is determined to build a
MARKET BOOST: Elon Musk said Tesla would resume bitcoin transactions once there is ‘reasonable’ clean energy usage by miners and denied selling a big part of his holdings Bitcoin yesterday hit a two-week peak just shy of US$40,000, after another weekend reacting to tweets from Tesla Inc chief executive Elon Musk, who fended off criticism over his market influence and said Tesla sold bitcoin, but might resume transactions using it. Bitcoin has gyrated to Musk’s views for months since Tesla announced a US$1.5 billion bitcoin purchase in February and said it would take the cryptocurrency in payment. He later said the electric vehicle maker would not accept bitcoin due to concerns over how mining the currency requires high energy use and contributes to climate change. “When there’s confirmation of reasonable