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Q1 new private investments below target

TAIPEI -- New private investments in Taiwan over the first three months of this year slightly lagged behind a target set by the government, a reflection of a slowdown in retail, wholesale and logistics investments, statistics compiled by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) showed.

In the first quarter, Taiwan registered a total of NT$318.7 billion (US$10.52 billion) in new private investments, accounting for 24.52 percent of the government's annual target of NT$1.3 trillion for the entire 2014, the MOEA said. The 24.52 percent was slightly shy away of a 25 percent portion for the first quarter.

The ministry said new investments made by the technology services sector made up 33.09 percent of the sector's annual goal, while new funds poured by the electronics information sector represented 28.16 percent of the sector's yearly target.

However, new investments in retail, wholesale and logistics accounted for only 17.13 percent of the sector's annual goal, the ministry said.

Although the pace for the local private sector failed to reach the government's target, several large sized electronics companies in Taiwan kicked off major investment projects over the period, the MOEA said.

According to the MOEA, 10 investment projects started in the first quarter will be worth more than NT$5 billion each.

Among them, AU Optronics Corp., one of Taiwan's leading flat panel makers, has started pouring about NT$30 billion into Hsinchu in northern Taiwan, while Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc., the world's largest integrated circuit packaging and testing services provider, has launched a NT$30 billion project in Kaohsiung.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has unveiled a project to invest NT$11 billion to buy production machines at a time when the global semiconductor sector is expected to stage a technical rebound in the second quarter.

In addition, TSMC is likely to invest an additional NT$100 billion in the near future, while rival United Microelectronics Corp. could spend about NT$10 billion on production expansion, the MOEA said, citing market information.

The ministry said that new private investments in the first quarter included about US$2.80 billion from foreign investors. The figure accounted for 25.89 percent of the government's annual goal.

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