• Taiwan's TSMC ranks as the world's No. 7 tech giant after Apple

    (By Central News Agency)TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwanese contract chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) joins U.S. tech giants Microsoft, Intel, Alphabet and Apple to be named as one of the world’s top 10 firms in technology sector. Another 12 Taiwanese technology leaders also make it to the top 100 list, with only three spots grabbed by their Chinese counterparts.

  • Licensing agreement brings Taiwan-developed pet medicine to US, Canada, NZ, and Australia

    A new pain relief drug for dogs and cats is soon to enter western markets. (Photo: Pixabay) TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan-based drug development company, Lumosa Therapeutics, announced yesterday on their website that a licensing agreement with Skyline Vet Pharma (SVP), an American animal health product development company, has been signed for an animal pain management drug to enter specified western markets.

  • Gas prices will continue to rise in Taiwan, says CPC

    CNA file photo (By Central News Agency)TAIPEI (CNA) — State-owned oil refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan will raise domestic gasoline and diesel prices by NT$0.2 (US$0.0068) and NT$0.3, respectively, effective midnight Sunday at CPC gas stations nationwide, as international crude oil prices climb.

    According to CPC, international crude oil prices have risen as a result of continuous cuts in production by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and decreases in the United States' crude oil inventory for eight consecutive weeks.

    After the adjustment, prices at CPC gas stations will be NT$25.1 per liter for super diesel, NT$27.1 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$28.6 per liter for 95 unleaded and NT$30.6 per liter for 98 unleaded, CPC said.

    CPC calculates its weekly fuel prices based on a weighted oil price formula made up of 70 percent Dubai crude and 30 percent Brent crude.

    Based on the latest increases in crude prices, CPC has calculated the average price of crude oil at US$67.06 per barrel, an increase of US$1.34 from a week earlier, according to its website. 

  • Taiwan's service sector maintains rapid growth

    Ximen area in Taipei (Image from Flickr user Dago Pacheco) TAIPEI (CNA) — The local service sector continued flashing a "yellow-red" light in November 2017, with one metric gauging the outlook for the sector falling slightly but still pointing to overheating, according to the Commerce Development Research Institute (CDRI).

    The CDRI, one of the country's leading economic think tanks, said the Index of Service Industry (ISI) for November stood at 104 points, a fall from 105 recorded in October, but still within the yellow-red range of 104-108.

    The think tank said the November ISI marked the ninth consecutive month the service sector has flashed yellow-red at a time of solid global demand on a continuing economic recovery.

    The CDRI uses a five-color system, in conjunction with the ISI, to describe the outlook for Taiwan's service sector, focusing on three major segments — securities trading, business operations, labor market and wages.

    Red indicates overheating, yellow-red signals slight overheating, green represents steady growth, yellow-blue sluggishness, and blue recession.

    The CDRI said the latest yellow-red light reflected November exports which improved 14 percent from the previous year, lifting the revenue posted by the wholesale industry by 3.5 percent and retail sales by 3.4 percent in the month.

    Of the three factors in the ISI, the CDRI said the sub-index for securities trading fell from 99 in October to 97 points in November as trading volume of service-related stocks plunged from NT$56.88 billion seen a month earlier to NT$19.19 billion (US$648 million).

    As for labor market and wage factors, the sub-index remained unchanged at 107 points, although the number of employed, regular wages and average working hours all rose during the month, the CDRI said.

    The CDRI said the sub-index for local business operations also remained the same in November at 104, with the increase in sales by retail and wholesale industries, power consumption and the amount of cargo handled by land transportation offsetting the weakness of other factors.

    Looking ahead, the CDRI said, the ISI could rise to 105 in December, when the Christmas holiday buying spree boosts commercial activity in Taiwan.

    The January ISI is expected to move up even further to 106 points with the Lunar New Year holiday approaching, which will pave the way for higher sales by retail businesses and the food and beverage industry.

    The Lunar New Year holiday falls in mid-February this year. 

  • TAIEX forecast to challenge 11,650 points by end of 2018

    Will 2018 be a good year for the Taiex? (By Central News Agency)Taipei, Jan. 13 (CNA) An Asian brokerage expects the Taiwan Stock Exchange Capitalization Weighted Stock Index (TAIEX) to challenge 11,650 points by the end of 2018 on the back of an improvement in the profitability of companies listed on the main board.
    In a research note, the Asian brokerage said it has raised its forecast for the weighted index to 11,650 points for 2018 from an earlier estimate of 11,300 points.
    The foreign securities house said the upgrade came in the wake of an anticipated increase of 10 percent in average earnings per share for companies listed on the main board in 2018,following an expected 10 percent increase in 2017.
    The EPS growth rate on the main board for 2019 is expected to hit 8 percent, the brokerage said.
    In 2017, the weighted index on the TWSE rose 15.01 percent to end at 10,642.86 points, marking the second year the market has posted gains, with foreign institutional investors registering net buying of NT$155.23 billion (US$5.24 billion) for the year.
    In the year, the bellwether electronics sector gained 19.4 percent from a year earlier, ahead of a 10.7 percent increase posted by the financial sector and a 9.7 percent rise recorded by the old economy sector.
    Since the beginning of this year, the main board has gained 2.27 percent. On Friday, the weighted index staged a technical rebound from a retreat seen in the previous two sessions, up 0.68 percent, at 10,883.96.
    The brokerage said it remains upbeat about the local high-tech and financial sectors for 2018.
    For the electronics sector, the brokerage expects corporate earnings to be boosted by solid demand for semiconductors, which will be driven by an increase in orders placed by PC and smartphone vendors along with a wide range of other applications, such as automotive electronics, the Internet of Things, data centers and virtual currencies.
    In addition, rising demand for production automation is also expected to pave the path for higher profitability in the high tech sector, the brokerage said.
    The securities house said the local financial sector is expected to benefit from the development of private banking, while tighter monetary policies in the global market to boost interest rates could boost returns on financial firms' overseas investments.
    The Asian brokerage has picked 16 stocks in its buy list for 2018. These include contract chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., memory chip maker Nan Ya Technology Corp. and integrated circuit packaging and test firm Advanced Engineering Inc.
    Also on the buy list are CTBC Financial Holding Co. E. Sun Financial Holding Co. and Aerospace Industrial Development Corp., according to the brokerage.
    CNA cannot identify the brokerage because media outlets in Taiwan are not allowed to report the names of foreign brokerages when they give price forecasts for specific stocks and fluctuations in the index. (By Jeffery Wu and Frances Huang)

  • National Development Fund decides to invest in solar alliance

    Government is ready to support solar energy alliance. (By Central News Agency)Taipei, Jan. 13 (CNA) The National Development Fund, under the Executive Yuan, has decided to fund a new solar energy alliance in Taiwan as part of the government's efforts to develop renewable energy.
    After several meetings to study the feasibility of investing in a new company to be formed by the merger of three Taiwanese solar energy firms: Neo Solar Power Corp, Gintech Energy Corp.and Solartech Energy Corp, the fund has decided to go ahead and invest, its management committee said.
    The new solar energy company is expected to be registered in the third quarter of this year after the injection of funding, Neo Solar Chairman Sam Hong said.
    The fund, established in 1973 by the Cabinet, focuses on seed, start up, restructuring, merger and acquisition investments, to accelerate the pace of industrial development in Taiwan.
    Currently, the fund is the largest single shareholder in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest contract chipmaker.
    To promote the upgrading of local industry, the government setup a special fund pool worth NT$100 billion (US$3.38 billion)through the National Development Fund and the new investment will come from that fund.
    In October 2017, Neo Solar Power, Gintech Energy and Solartech Energy announced plans for a merger, the largest-ever deal of its kind in the Taiwan solar energy industry.
    The merger will create a company with NT$21.1 billion in capital and is expected to strengthen Taiwan's competitiveness in the global market, the three partners said.
    Under the agreement, one Gintech Energy share will be swapped for 1.39 Neo Solar shares, while one Solartech Energy will be exchanged for 1.17 Neo Solar shares. The company will be called"United Renewable Energy Co. (UREC)."
    The decision to invest in UREC was made at a time when the government is promoting "5 plus 2" innovative industries, including the renewable energy business.
    According to the fund's management committee, it will not take a larger stake in UREC than that owned by the company's largest single private shareholder.
    Local media reports said after the formation of UREC, Delta Electronics Inc., a leading power management solution supplier in Taiwan, is expected to become the largest shareholder with a stake of about 6.5 percent stake in the new solar energy firm. In other words, the fund's shareholding in UREC is unlikely to top 6.5 percent, the reports said.
    The fund's management committee said it will ask UREC to hold an investment fund raising event to boost capital, while the government fund will seek at least one seat on the new firm's board of directors.
    Hung said UREC will focus on optimizing its solar cell production technology and plans to develop solar cell modules and solar power systems, efforts that could cost more than NT$5 billion.
    Hung said the government fund and state-owned Yao Hua Glass Co. will finance this strategy.
    Once UREC begins operations, Hung said, the new company expects to generate about NT$50 billion in sales in the first year and post NT$90-NT$100 billion in annual revenue within five years. (By Chen Cheng-wei, Chung Jung-feng and Frances Huang)

  • AWS joins New Taipei City's initiative to nurture entrepreneurship

    The New Taipei City Government and Amazon Web Services (AWS) today held a signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Joint Innovation Center. The initiative is designed to integrate industry and academic resources in nurturing entrepreneurship, and to enhance the startup ecosystem in New Taipei City (NTPC) via five major aspects: driving adoption of global cloud services; fostering venture capital investment; consolidating industry counseling resources; nurturing cloud skills and talent; and integrating local industry advantages.