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In Brief

In Brief

United Micro says Q3 profit may rise
TAIPEI, Taiwan
United Microelectronics Corp., the world's second-largest maker of customized chips, said third- quarter profit may rise "substantially" from the second quarter, on orders from makers of mobile phones and consumer electronics.
Customers' inventory will probably fall in the second quarter and demand for chips used in communications and consumer products will probably improve from June, the Hsinchu, Taiwan-based company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
Chief Executive Officer Jackson Hu told investors yesterday that the company's profit will "improve slightly" in the current quarter from the first quarter, while sales will rise 6 to 8 percent from the first quarter's NT$23 billion.
The chipmaker reiterated its capital spending of US$1 billion to US$1.2 billion for this year, compared with US$1 billion last year.
Beer power
CANBERRA, Australia
Scientists and Australian beer maker Foster's are teaming up to generate clean energy from brewery waste water - by using sugar-consuming bacteria.
The experimental technology was unveiled yesterday by scientists at Australia's University of Queensland, which was given a 140,000 Australian dollar (US$115,000) state government grant to install a microbial fuel cell at a Foster's Group brewery near Brisbane, the capital of Queensland state.
The fuel cell is essentially a battery in which bacteria consume water-soluble brewing waste such as sugar, starch and alcohol.
The battery produces electricity plus clean water, said Professor Jurg Keller, the university's wastewater expert.
The complex technology harnesses the chemical energy that the bacteria releases from the organic material, converting it into electrical energy.
Over-50s enjoy boom
LONDON, England
The over-50 generation of Britons has experienced a boom in personal wealth, research shows.
The personal household wealth of the 50-plus generation has rocketed 45.6 percent in the past five years to more than 5 trillion pounds, according to Abbey.
At 2006 levels, this means the personal wealth of this demographic group accounts for almost 75 percent of Britons' overall wealth - and is greater than the annual gross domestic product of every nation except the United States.
It is also greater than the combined GDPs of the UK, Germany and France.
On current projections, the over-50s are likely to assume even greater financial and social power.
If personal wealth continues to grow at the rate of the past five years, the 50-plus generation will have assets of 40 trillion pounds by 2043.
That is equivalent to six times the current annual U.S. GDP.
HSBC mum on EnTie
TAIPEI, Taiwan
HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe's largest bank by market value, declined to comment on a newspaper report saying it's close to reaching agreement to buy a majority stake in Taiwan's EnTie Commercial Bank.
EnTie favors HSBC and Orix Corp. of Japan among interested bidders, and the chances of HSBC being the winner are high, the Taipei-based Commercial Times reported yesterday, citing unidentified people close to the deal. A final agreement may be reached within two weeks, the report said.
"No comment," Deborah Chang, vice president of HSBC Taiwan, said in a phone interview in Taipei yesterday.
T.C. Tang, EnTie's senior executive vice president, said the report should be regarded as speculation.
"We're still in talks with potential investors and no final decision has been made," Tang said, declining to give names.
Orix is Japan's largest non-bank financial company. Taipei-based EnTie is one of 16 lenders established in the early 1990s as Taiwan liberalized its banking industry.


Updated : 2021-04-22 02:31 GMT+08:00