TAIEX closes at new high
The TAIEX yesterday closed nearly 270 points higher, thanks to a surge in the bellwether electronics sector in a market awash in liquidity. Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) again led the tech sector, pulling ahead on the back of continued optimism over its business outlook, dealers said. The TAIEX ended up 269.28 points, or 1.74 percent, at 15,769.98, on turnover of NT$360.79 billion (US$12.68 billion). TSMC rose 2.37 percent to close at the day’s high of NT$605, boosting its market cap to a new high of NT$15.65 trillion, up NT$363 billion from a session earlier. Foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$15.55 billion of shares on the main board, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.
Central bank urges restraint
The central bank has asked custodian banks involved in foreign exchange transactions to exercise restraint in trades as it seeks to rein in the soaring New Taiwan dollar through “moral persuasion,” Reuters reported yesterday, citing people familiar with the matter. The sources said the central bank has met the banks to express its “hope” that their customers spread out their foreign exchange sales. The central bank did not respond to a request for comment. Reuters reported on Monday that the central bank had sent inspectors to domestic banks to investigate whether exporters are speculating in foreign currency. The NT dollar yesterday rose NT$0.036 to close at NT$28.445 against the US dollar in Taipei trading.
HTC launches 5G phone
HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday launched its new 5G smartphone, the Desire 21 Pro 5G, equipped with Qualcomm Inc’s Snapdragon 690 chipset. The mid-range 5G smartphone has a 6.7-inch screen, five artificial-intelligence-enabled camera lenses and a larger, 5,000 milliampere-hour battery, the company said in a statement. The device costs NT$12,900. Customers who purchase the phone early can buy it for NT$11,900 along with a set of free wireless earbuds, HTC said. The new smartphone supports wider 5G coverage of 4G LTE and 5G new-radio frequency, it said.
C Sung revenue soars 40%
Local semiconductor equipment supplier C Sung Manufacturing Ltd (志聖工業) yesterday reported that net profit last year was NT$439 million, an increase of about 40 percent from NT$314 million in 2019. That translates into earnings per share of NT$2.94, it said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Revenue last year contracted 8.07 percent to NT$4.09 billion, from NT$4.44 billion in the prior year, the filing showed.
Sales in China rise 10%
Sales of electric vehicles in China rose 10 percent last year, data showed yesterday, amid a post-pandemic economic recovery and a push to establish the world’s largest auto market as a leader in “green” technology. Sales of new-energy vehicles — including all-electric and hybrids — grew 10.9 percent from a year earlier to 1.37 million vehicles last year, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said. Total auto sales in China dropped 1.9 percent to 25.31 million vehicles, as aggressive lockdowns to contain the COVID-19 pandemic hit the industry hard in the first quarter of last year, but the figure was “better than expected,” the industry group said.
From India to China to the US, automakers cannot make vehicles — not that no one wants any, but because a more than US$450 billion industry for semiconductors got blindsided. How did both sides end up here? Over the past two weeks, automakers across the world have bemoaned the shortage of chips. Germany’s Audi, owned by Volkswagen AG, would delay making some of its high-end vehicles because of what chief executive officer Markus Duesmann called a “massive” shortfall in an interview with the Financial Times. The firm has furloughed more than 10,000 workers and reined in production. That is a further blow
Answering to a reported request by Germany to help address a chip shortage in its auto industry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said that it was in talks with domestic chip suppliers. Foreign media over the weekend reported that German Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier had sent a request to Taipei to ask Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to cooperate more closely with German automakers to provide microchips and sensors, to bridge a shortage that has emerged over the past few months. The MOEA said that it had not yet received the request and could therefore not elaborate
FOCUS ON FOUNDRIES: An analyst said that some investors would be disappointed because they were expecting a larger announcement of a partnership with TSMC Intel Corp’s incoming chief executive officer Pat Gelsinger on Thursday pledged to regain the company’s lead in chip manufacturing, countering growing calls from some investors to shed that part of its business. “I am confident that the majority of our 2023 products will be manufactured internally,” Gelsinger said. “At the same time, given the breadth of our portfolio, it’s likely that we will expand our use of external foundries for certain technologies and products.” He plans to provide more details after officially taking over the CEO role on Feb. 15, but Gelsinger was clear that Intel is sticking with its once mighty
AWARENESS NEEDED: The central bank urged lenders to know their customers before undertaking business for them and to seek funding in conventional ways The central bank yesterday said that it would take action against four foreign lenders for their involvement in helping companies trade in the deliverable forward market in contravention of foreign-exchange regulations. Some grain merchants newly based in Taiwan have since July 2019 been practicing questionable currency-trading activity, with the help of branches and subsidiaries of six foreign banks, the monetary policymaker told an unscheduled news conference. Affiliated firms as of July last year completed currency-related deals they referred to as trading that totaled US$11 billion, which was not in sync with their real business needs, the central bank said after wrapping up