Business and Finance

Taiwan sees steepest increase in fuel prices in 27 months

Gasoline and diesel prices to hike by NT$1.1 (US$0.035) and NT$1.2 (US$0.0385)

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/01/14
By: Huang Tzu-ti, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

CPC gas station (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s state-run oil refiner CPC Corp. announced it is raising gasoline and diesel prices by NT$1.1 (US$0.035) and NT$1.2 (US$0.0385) per liter respectively starting midnight today (Jan. 14), the steepest increase in 27 months.

With the adjustments, the prices for 92 unleaded, 95 unleaded, and 98 unleaded per liter will be hiked to NT$26.1, NT$27.6, and NT$29.6 respectively. The price of super diesel will arrive at NT$23.9 per liter, said CPC in a statement.

The rebound of fuel prices is prompted by OPEC-led crude oil cuts, optimistic outlook for trade talks between China and the U.S., and reduction in U.S. commercial crude oil inventories, according to CPC.

Having dropped to their lowest in 15 months at the end of 2018, domestic fuel prices have been raised for the second time this year, meaning a car owner will have to pay an additional NT$80 to fill a 50-liter tank compared to the cost two weeks ago.
[FULL  STORY]

Fried chicken chain KFC to raise prices in Taiwan, beginning Tuesday

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/01/14
By: Wu Hsin-yun and Elizabeth Hsu

Photo taken from Facebook of KFC (www.facebook.com/kfctaiwan)

Taipei, Jan. 14 (CNA) American fast food chain KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is raising the prices of some of its products in Taiwan to reflect growing costs, the company announced on Monday.

The price hike, scheduled to become effective on Tuesday, will see prices rise by 5 percent on average for food it serves at all of its chain stores in Taiwan, KFC said in a statement.

The company said that it has not raised prices since 2016 and decided to do so now after a comprehensive review to its operational costs and product prices, so that it can maintain the quality of the meals it serves.

According to KFC, the price will be raised by NT$2 for each egg tart, NT$6 for each piece of fried chicken, NT$6-NT$10 for each burger, and NT$10 for each XL Combo set. And there will be a rise of at least NT$16 on the price for bucket meals depending on the combination.    [FULL  STORY]

FET unveils wireless smart speakers

FIGHTING REPLACEMENT CYCLES: The global market for smart speakers is expected to grow 63 percent year-on-year to US$7 billion this year, a Deloitte forecast showed

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 15, 2019
By: Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (FET, 遠傳電信) yesterday launched wireless smart speakers, the latest of many new gadgets other than mobile phones that the telecom is using to boost subscriptions to mobile services as mobile phone replacement cycles lengthen.

As part of its strategic shift, the telecom is looking to devices that incorporate the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and artificial intelligence (AI) as new revenue drivers, because revenue from wireless connectivity is falling due to cutthroat competition.

The smart speakers are the first consumer IoT device that the telecom has unveiled toward achieving that goal, the company said.

Along with smart speakers launched earlier last year, Far EasTone this year aims to triple the sale of smart home gadgets, consumer business unit vice president Belinda Chen (陳萍坽) told reporters yesterday.    [FULL  STORY]

More than 60 Taiwanese companies mull Taiwan expansion amid trade war

Government strives to lure Taiwanese firms into local investment

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/01/13
By: Scott Morgan, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Taipei skyline. (Photo by unsplash user Tom Ritson)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said that more than 60 Taiwanese companies are considering expanding their Taiwan operations, amid concerns stemming from the U.S.-China trade war, reported CNA.

The Taiwan government is seeking to incentivize Taiwanese firms to invest in Taiwan, through a host of new government policies and advisory services provided by the MOEA and Ministry of Finance.

The U.S.-China trade war has been identified as a significant economic risk by a range of analysts including U.S. financial services giant Moody’s and the Taiwan government, as well as local and international think tanks. CEO of TSMC (台積電), C.C. Wei (魏哲家), said that the trade war will affect all of Taiwan’s industrieslast November.

The trade war is bringing about significant uncertainty for both businesses and markets, and giving pause for thought for Taiwanese businesses with manufacturing and service bases in China.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan startups win 8 awards, secure deals at CES 2019

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/01/13
By: Chiu Po-sheng and Evelyn Kao

Taipei, Jan. 13 (CNA) Startups from Taiwan won eight awards and secured orders or

CNA file photo

business opportunities worth more than US$60 million at the recently concluded 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, one of the world’s top tech exhibitions, the Ministry of Science and Technology said Sunday.

2018 was the first time an official delegation from Taiwan attended CES. This year’s delegation to the trade exhibition, which was held Jan. 8-11, was made up of 44 technology startups from Taiwan led by Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Hsu Yu-chin (許有進).

The Taiwanese startups manned booths where they showcased technologies in the Taiwan Tech Arena as part of Eureka Park at CES 2019, attracting much attention, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).    [FULL  STORY]

CHT sees profit slide due to 4G price pressures

OTHER ACTIVITIES: The telecom also saw handset sales decrease, but earned more from Web services as Taiwan Mobile relied on e-commerce for profit growth

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 14, 2019
By: Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Chunghwa Telecom Co’s (CHT, 中華電信) net profits last year slid 8.6 percent annually to NT$35.52 billion (US$1.15 billion), due primarily to intensifying price competition, missing the company’s full-year forecast for the first time in history.

Major telecoms in May last year reduced their flat rates for unlimited 4G service packages to as low as NT$499 a month, which has negatively affected their bottom line.

Chunghwa Telecom on Thursday said that its earnings per share dropped to NT$4.58 last year, missing its prediction of NT$4.8 to NT$5.2.

The nation’s biggest telecom previously expected a 4.14 percent net profit decline to NT$37.25 billion last year.    [FULL  STORY]

CES 2019 shows how AI and 5G will shape future: industry experts

The China Post
Date: Jan. 13, 201941
By: Jiang Ming-yan and Evelyn Kao 

Las Vegas (CNA) — The 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of the world’s top tech exhibitions, which was held Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas, showed how fifth generation communications technology (5G) and artificial intelligence (AI) will transform the future, according to industry experts.

The four-day event, which brought together 4,500 exhibitors, showcased the latest innovative technologies and serviCES in a display area of 268,418 square meters attracted about 180,000 visitors.

The exhibitors included world leading technology brands LG, Samsung, Huawei, Intel and Qualcomm as well as automobile manufacturers Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Nissan and thousands of startups.

The CES 2019 keynote stage featured some of the biggest names in tech, including AMD, AT&T Communications, IBM, LG and Verizon. CES is the only show where the entire 5G ecosystem — the backbone for transportation, virtual reality, sports technology and digital health — comes together.    [FULL  STORY]

Designs for ‘Taipei Twin Towers’ revealed by Dutch firm MVRDV

The architectural firm hopes to revitalize Taipei’s central station area to create the ‘Times Square of Taiwan’

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/01/12
By: Duncan DeAeth, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(Image courtesy of MVRDV)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Dutch architectural firm based in Rotterdam, MVRDV, has released concept art for a new structure being planned for central Taipei, which the company hopes will become the “Times Square of Taiwan.”

The Taipei Twin Towers project is an ambitious architectural proposal to beautify the neighborhood surrounding Taipei’s main train station, by incorporating cutting edge architecture, a spacious park and promenade, along with a huge array of LCD light facades, reminiscent of some popular sci-fi films in recent years.

The design, created in cooperation CHY Architecture Urban Landscape, and contracted under the Nan Hai Development Group, was revealed to the public in a press release on Jan. 9.

The two primary towers, designed to be 337 and 280 meters tall, resemble stacks of large multicolored blocks. The “Taipei Twin Towers” in the design proposal are to be constructed over the surface level entrances to the recently completed purple MRT Line.
[FULL  STORY]

Employer business outlook for Q1 weakens: poll

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/01/12
By: Frances Huang 

Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) The business outlook for the first quarter among employers in Taiwan weakened at a time when data showed signs that the local economic recovery is slowing, according to yes123 online job bank.

The net business optimism among employers for the January-March period fell to 2.9 percent, down from 7.6 percent in a similar survey conducted over the same period last year, indicting greater caution over the business climate, the survey found.

The first quarter figure was also down from 4.6 percent from a poll conducted in the fourth quarter of last year.

The poll, which measures confidence in the economy among employers, calculates net business optimism by subtracting the percentage of employers anticipating weakness in the economy from the percentage expecting an improvement.    [FULL  STORY]

Japan’s Kyushu Financial Group developing base in Taipei to reach SE Asia

The President of the KFG and Kagoshima Bank recently discussed the company’s plans to expand operations and investments throughout the region

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/01/11
By: Duncan DeAeth, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Kyushu Financial Group

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In a recent interview with the Japan’s Nikkei newspaper, the President and Representative Director of the Kyushu Financial Group (KFG), Motohiro Kamimura (上村基宏), expressed his hopes to develop operations in Southeast Asia by first establishing a new base in Taipei.

The KFG has reportedly already opened up an office in Taipei that Kamimura, who is also head of Kagoshima Bank, hopes to use as a forward base for building a network into Southeast Asia.

In his interview, Kamimura stated that because Kyushu, and Kagoshima Prefecture, where the KFG is located suffer from a declining population, that Southeast Asia is an obvious choice to expand markets and operations for the financial company.

Kagoshima Bank, which is part of the KFG, aims to be involved in developing industries such as agriculture, medical care, and food service throughout the region. The bank is also exploring possible options of cashless payment systems, for people in Taiwan and further abroad, according to the report.    [FULL  STORY]