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Taiwan chip ‘godfather’ bullish on cryptocurrency despite volatility

TAIPEI, Jan 18 — The revered head of Taiwan’s semiconductor giant said cryptocurrencies would be a key driver for growth despite a bitcoin slump due to the threat of stricter regulations. Morris Chang’s Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing…


SERC sees ringgit at 3.8 by end-2018 as Malaysia readies for OPR hike

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KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit is projected to trade between 3.8000 and 3.9000 against the US dollar by end-2018, amid stronger crude oil prices and as Malaysia raises its key interest rate, according to Socio-Economic Research Centre (SERC) executive director Lee Heng Guie. In fact, Lee expects the central bank to raise rates as early as next week, when the monetary policy committee meets for the first time this year. “Looking at the current economic environment, it is ready for a monetary policy review. Although the economic growth is expected toRead More


Global semicon revenue seen growing 7.5pc in 2018 on crypto craze

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 — Worldwide global semiconductor revenue is expected to grow by 7.5 per cent in 2018, or reaching US$451 billion (RM1.7 trillion), driven mainly by demand in areas such as artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency mining ….


Autos to substitute smartphones as major tech driver

KUCHING: Automotive is expected by the research arm of Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd (HLIB Research) to substitute smartphone as the major growth driver for global tech sector. According to HLIB Research, increasingly, new vehicles are embedded with more semiconductors for safety (airbag system), autonomous (park assist system), positioning (GPS navigation), comfort (stability control system), […]


Singapore Dec exports growth slows on weaker electronics, China shipments

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SINGAPORE (Jan 17): Singapore’s export growth slowed more than expected in December from a year earlier due to a fall in electronics trade and the first decline in shipments to China in more than a year. Non-oil domestic exports rose 3.1 percent in December year-on-year, data from the trade agency International Enterprise Singapore showed, slower than the 8.7 percent increase predicted by economists in a Reuters poll and the 9.1 percent rise the month before. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, exports contracted 5.0 percent in December after growing aRead More


Semiconductor Industry Remains On Positive Path

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US dollar slide deepens as euro strength saps stocks

NEW YORK, Jan 15 — Despite a US holiday, the US dollar dominated trading yesterday as it headed for a fourth day of declines, weakening against every major currency. The euro’s jump weighed on European stocks, while gold gained….


Asia set for equity gains on economic optimism (VIDEO)

SYDNEY, Jan 15 — Asian stocks looked set to build on a strong start to the year after economic reports and earnings in the US spurred optimism for economic growth. Futures on stock indexes in Japan, Australia, South Korea and Hong Kong all…


KESM Industries sees 2018 another good year

KUALA LUMPUR: Semiconductor burn-in and test specialist KESM Industries Bhd (KESM), which surpassed its RM300 million sales target last year, aims to maintain the sales momentum for its financial year ending July 31, 2018 (FY18).

For FY17, the group's sales improved 18% year-on-year to RM338 million, as a result of higher demand for burn-in and test services.

“We have exceeded our sales target last year, and if you look at the track record that we have, we will try to keep up with that rate,” its executive chairman and CEO Sam Lim told reporters after the group's AGM and EGM today.

KESM achieved sales of RM285 million in FY16 and RM263 million in FY15.

At the noon break, the stock, which has been on an uptrend since last August, fell 30 sen or 1.41% to RM21 with 11,300 shares changing hands. It has climbed more than 50% in the past five months.


KESM out to maintain strong sales momentum

KUALA LUMPUR: Chip-testing company KESM Industries Bhd, which surpassed its RM300 million sales target last year, aims to maintain the sales momentum for its current financial year ending July 31, 2018 (FY18).

KESM provides burn-in, testing and electronic manufacturing services for the semiconductor industry. Burn-in is a process to detect early failures in semiconductor devices, which are used mostly in cars and personal computers.

For FY17, the group’s sales improved 18% year on year to RM338 million as a result of higher demand for burn-in and test services.

“We exceeded our sales target last year, and if you look at the track record that we have, we will try to keep up with that rate,” its executive chairman and CEO Sam Lim told reporters after the group’s AGM and EGM today.

KESM achieved sales of RM285 million in FY16 and RM263 million in FY15.

Asked about the group’s capital expenditure (capex) plan for FY18, Lim declined to comment on the amount, saying it will not be less than last year’s. It is understood that the group allotted RM140.2 million for capital investments in FY17.

Nevertheless, he said the group’s capex this year will mainly be used to enhance its existing plants, upgrading them into “smart factories” in order to improve the quality of KESM’s products and to test more complex semiconductors.

“We just started (the initiative) recently and it will be accelerated to our factories in Kuala Lumpur and China, which will bring even better value to our customers.

“Smart factory is beyond automation. It provides manufacturing information online, such as quality and production volumes. And those information will be given to the management to analyse and decide on what to do,” he said.

The group has three semiconductor testing plants, one each in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Tianjin, China.

Besides that, Lim said, the group is planning to increase its investments in automation to enhance the production process by increasing the level of automation.

Other than that, the group’s strategies this year include increasing its technical resources, developing programmes to optimise production process and improving product quality.
On the strengthening of the ringgit against the US dollar, Lim noted that the group is not affected by the currency movement at the moment.

For the first quarter ended Oct 31, 2017 (Q1FY18), the group’s net profit increased 13.6% to RM11.38 million, from RM10.01 million in the previous corresponding quarter. Revenue for the quarter grew 13.2% to RM90.7 million, against RM80.1 million previously.

On Bursa Malaysia today, KESM’s share price, which has been on an uptrend since last August, fell 28 sen or 1.31% to RM21.02 with 27,300 shares traded. The stock has climbed more than 50% in the past five months.