Business and Finance

GlobalWafers profit sets record

STRONG START: All the fixed prices in newly signed contracts are either equal to or slightly higher than those in the firm’s existing contracts, chairwoman Doris Hsu said

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 20, 2019
By: Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓), the world’s No. 3 silicon wafer supplier, yesterday said that net profits last year soared to an all-time high, thanks to vibrant customer demand and a price rebound.

Net profits surged 160 percent to NT$13.64 billion (US$442.31 million) from NT$5.28 billion in 2017, while earnings per share jumped to NT$31.18 from NT$12.68 in 2017, GlobalWafers said, adding that gross margin rose to a historical high of 37.8 percent from 25.6 percent.

“In addition to very strong market demand, I think long-term agreement policy is one of the main factors contributing to the company’s overall performance last year,” chairwoman Doris Hsu (徐秀蘭) told an investors’ conference.

GlobalWafers has honored every long-term agreement with every customer and no breach of contract has occurred, Hsu said in a bid to quell concern over clients reportedly planning to negotiate down prices amid a semiconductor slowdown.    [FULL  STORY]

StarLux to sign Taiwan’s largest ever single Airbus purchase agreement

The new airline will sign an agreement with Airbus on Tuesday to purchase 17 A350 wide-body aircraft

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/03/18    
By: George Liao,Taiwan News, Staff Writer

A350 XWB (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s StarLux Airlines Co. (星宇航空), which plans to start operating flights early next year, will sign an agreement with Airbus in Taipei on Tuesday to purchase 17 A350 wide-body aircraft, Central News Agency (CNA) reported on Monday.

The deal is Airbus’ largest ever single order by a Taiwanese airline, according to Airbus data, CNA reported.

StarLux chairman Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airbus to purchase 17 A350XWB, including 5 A350-900 and 12 A350-1000, when he attended the Farnborough Airshow in the UK last July, the news outlet said.

The aircraft purchase agreement will be co-signed by Chang, Christain Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), and Paul Freestone, aircraft-engine producer Rolls-Royce’s senior vice-president, in Taipei, according to CNA.

After the signing of the agreement, StarLux will become Taiwan’s first airline to introduce A350-1000 aircraft.

Chang, who is a commercial pilot, was invited to experience the flight of A350-1000 early last year. He said that he was deeply impressed by the excellent performance and control of A350 aircraft, and considered A350-1000 very suitable for Taiwan’s geographic position and StarLux’s future flight route development.    [FULL  STORY]

Government keeps electricity rates at current level

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/18
By: Liao Yu-yang and Elizabeth Hsu

CNA file photo

Taipei, March 18 (CNA) The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) decided Monday to keep Taiwan’s basic electricity rate unchanged at NT$2.6253 (US$0.085) per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

The decision was made during a meeting convened by the Electricity Tariff Review Committee under the MOEA.

The committee reviews and proposes possible adjustments to electricity rates twice a year, and the ministry generally follows its recommendations.

In March 2018, the committee decided on a 3 percent hike to take effect beginning April 1, representing the first adjustment of power rates since April 2016.    [FULL  STORY]

Ministry freezes electricity prices again

LOW COSTS: The electricity review committee rejected Taipower’s proposal to raise power prices by 6.48 percent and denied speculation that the decision was political

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 19, 2019
By: Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Tseng Wen-sheng, left, and Taipower Co president

Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Tseng Wen-sheng, left, and Taipower Co president Chung Bin-li speak at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

Chung Bin-li speak at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA
The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday said it would freeze electricity prices for another six months, as it expects falling crude and coal prices to help reduce power generation costs.

The ministry said it sees only a slim chance of power prices increasing in the second half of this year, as a wobbling global economy might reduce fuel consumption and keep prices in check.

“The electricity review committee concluded its [twice-yearly] meeting by keeping electricity rates unchanged, as fuel prices are to trend down in the longer term,” Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Tseng Wen-sheng (曾文生) told a media briefing in Taipei.

“Fuel costs play a major role in the electricity price adjustment mechanism,” Tseng said.

Taiwan removed from EU noncooperative tax watchlist

Taiwan News    
Date: 2019/03/17 
By:  Agencies

TAIPEI (Taiwan Today) — Taiwan was removed from the EU’s noncooperative jurisdiction for tax purposes watchlist March 12, reflecting the effectiveness of government measures in bringing local rules and regulations in line with global standards.

According to the Ministry of Finance, Taiwan was among 92 countries and territories included in a review launched two years ago by the EU Code of Conduct Group. This aimed to enhance cooperation on fair taxation, fighting tax avoidance, and improving good governance and transparency.

A total of 17 countries and territories were identified as having taken no meaningful action to address deficiencies in respective tax systems. Although Taiwan was not included in the group, it did make the watchlist.

The EU advised the government to remedy the situation by continuing to work to abolish or amend income tax incentive provisions; exchange relevant information; and implement measures to halt base erosion and profit shifting.    [FULL  STORY]

Fuel prices to rise this week

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/17
By Chiu Po-sheng and Emerson Lim

Taipei, March 17 (CNA) As international oil prices continue to go upward, Taiwan’s two

CNA file photo

major oil companies will hike the prices at their gas stations around the nation.

State-run oil refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan announced in a statement that effective midnight March 17, the adjusted price of 92 octane unleaded gasoline will be NT$26.80 (US$0.86) per liter; 95 octane unleaded will be raised to NT$28.30 per liter; and 98 octane unleaded will cost NT$30.30 per liter, according to CPC.

The cost of super diesel will be NT$25.90 per liter.

The average crude price computed on the 7D3B formula, which is made up of 70 percent Dubai crude and 30 percent Brent crude, was at US$66.94 per barrel this week, up US$1.58 from last week’s US$65.36, according to the CPC.    [FULL  STORY]

Analysts predict market corrections

EDUCATED GUESS: A fund manager said data released by the US and China had raised concerns and might result in local equities being restricted to narrow-range trading

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 18, 2019
By: Chen Cheng-hui  /  Staff reporter

Equity investors are advised to pick stocks that have stable profitability and growth potential, or switch to defensive stocks as the local bourse appears to be about to encounter technical corrections after a strong rebound over the past few weeks, analysts said.

“The main bourse has rebounded recently along with the climb in US equities, with the TAIEX reaching 10,439.24 points on Friday to hit the highest level this year, in part because of investor optimism toward the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy and the US-China trade talks,” Jih Sun Securities Investment Trust Co (日盛投信) fund manager Chang Ya-wei (張亞瑋) said in a note on Friday.

However, local equities might be confined to narrow-range trading in the near future, because of the market’s worries over recent economic data released by the US and China, which pointed to a potential downside risk to the business climate, he said.

The year-to-date upturn in stocks might also lead some investors to lock in profits for the time being, pushing the market toward consolidation, he added.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s bilingual IR Platform kicks off to better serve global investors

Under the country’s latest corporate governance guideline, bilingual financial report and shareholders meeting agenda will be mandated
Taiwan News   
Date: 2019/03/16 
By: Sophia Yang, Taiwan News, Staff Reporter

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — To improve corporate governance and investor relations, Taiwan’s financial authorities are demanding that listed companies publish English-language financial reports, annual reports, and shareholders meeting agendas, while a bilingual investor relations platform was recently kicked off to complement the efforts.

The new investor relations platform (IR Platform) was built by the Taiwan Depository and Clearing Corporation (TDCC). A launching ceremony was held on Friday, March 15, followed by an international forum which features an emerging but critical practice used by investors to evaluate corporate behavior and to determine the future financial performance of companies – ESG.

The ESG Conference, hosted by the TDCC, reviewed the demands, challenges and opportunities of ESG implementation. ESG stands for a set of environmental, social and governance criteria as a special evaluation model.

TDCC Chairman Sherman Lin said at the ceremony that the company continues to expand its electronic voting ecosystem since its debut in 2009 through an array of innovations including the launch of stock vote for shareholders meeting, e-passbook and its mobile app, Straight Through Processing (STP) for cross-border voting, and several upgrades to the e-passbook app with the addition of features such as notification and cloud backup, with an aim to facilitate the communications between the listed companies and foreign/Taiwanese or institutional/retail investors, enhance market transparency, as well as Taiwan’s competitiveness in the world’s capital market.    [FULL  STORY]

Overtime hours down for 3rd straight month in January

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/16
By: Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang 

Taipei, March 16 (CNA) At a time when the pace of local economic growth has slowed, the number of overtime hours fell for the third consecutive month in January, according to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

Data compiled by the DGBAS shows that the number of overtime hours stood at 7.6 hours in January, down 6.17 percent from a year earlier. The January figure was also down 2.56 percent from a month earlier.

The local manufacturing sector saw the number of overtime hours falling for the fourth straight month in January, the DGBAS said.

In addition, the average overtime pay in January fell 1.18 percent from a year earlier to NT$1,752 (US$56.70), the DGBAS said.    [FULL  STORY]

TAIEX rides out resistance to top 10,400

LONG VIEW: An analyst said that TSMC’s gains were a sign of foreign institutional investors boosting the index on the spot market to profit with long position futures

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 17, 2019
By: Staff writer, with CNA and AFP

Local shares on Friday moved higher to overcome stiff technical resistance ahead of 10,400 points as the bellwether electronics sector continued to steam ahead, led by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), dealers said.

The old economy sector also attracted buying as bargain hunters rushed to pick up stocks in the sector, which has lagged behind the high-tech sector, as well as the broader market, for some time, dealers added.

The TAIEX on Friday closed up 90.59 points, or 0.88 percent, at the day’s high of 10,439.24, after rebounding from a low of 10,370, on turnover of NT$152.996 billion (US$4.95 billion).

That was a 1.9 percent gain from a close of 10,241.75 on March 8.    [FULL  STORY]