A week in tech, February 13-19

A roundup of the latest tech news.

Fujitsu is to spin off its loss-making chip business as increasing competition is forcing the Japanese group to create a leaner organisation. Alongside NEC and Hitachi, which make a wide range of goods from chips to nuclear reactors, Fujitsu is finding it increasingly difficult to compete with nimbler rivals in other parts of Asia and the US. But rather than sell underperforming units to private equity groups or foreign rivals, Japanese companies have largely preferred to spin off the chip-making businesses into subsidiaries controlled by the parent company. Fujitsu said it needed to improve efficiency and reduce development times to compete with its rivals, including Toshiba and Infineon. The unit is expected either to break even or make a small profit this year, following a loss of about Ñ20 billion a year ago. For the year ending March 31, Fujitsu forecasts its chip business sales will rise by 12% from a year earlier to Ñ530 billion ($5 billion).

Toshiba is planning to give up on its HD DVD format for high-definition DVDs, conceding defeat to the competing Blu-ray technology backed by Sony. The move will likely put an end to a battle that has gone on for several years between consortiums led by Toshiba and Sony vying to set the standard for the next-generation DVD and compatible video equipment. Toshiba is expected to suffer losses running to tens of billions of yen (hundreds of millions of dollars) to scrap production of HD DVD players and recorders and to withdraw from the business.

Sharp and Kansai Electric Power are considering teaming up to build a solar power generation plant that could become one of Japan's biggest when completed on coastal land in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture. The plant is planned to be built on the site of an industrial waste disposal facility owned by the Osaka prefectural government. Once completed, its power output capacity could exceed that of SharpÆs 5,200KW solar power generation system in Mie Prefecture, currently the largest such plant in Japan.

Toyobo has come up with a way to fabricate films for printed wiring boards that are only 5 microns thick. At half the thickness of the company's existing products, the new films are the thinnest in the industry, beating out the 7.5-micron versions made by Ube Industries. Toyobo plans to market its new film to device makers starting in April 2009. The circuit board films are made from a solution of a polyimide resin that is spread out and dried, then rolled. The resin needs to be heated to more than 300 degrees Celsius to drive off the solvent, a process that causes the resin to expand, which can create uneven waviness in the film. Toyobo has reduced this thermal expansion by five-sixths by adding polybenzazole molecules to the resin, pushing its heat resistance above 500 degrees Celsius from the usual 350 degrees. The firm has also modified the rolling mechanism so the thinner film can be rolled without damage.

Hitachi and Matsushita Electric Industrial announced the conclusion of a formal contract related to a comprehensive liquid crystal display (LCD) panel business alliance. A basic agreement regarding this alliance was reached on December 25, 2007 by Hitachi, Matsushita and Canon. Under the terms of the agreement, Matsushita will acquire a 24.9% stake in Hitachi Displays, a wholly-owned Hitachi subsidiary that makes small and medium-sized LCD panels, from Hitachi by March 31, 2008, pending regulatory approval. Matsushita will then acquire large IPS LCD panel-related businesses, including the total issued shares of IPS Alpha Technology, for Ñ66 billion ($612 million) from Hitachi Displays once all conditions are met.

NEC Electronics will introduce an early retirement plan to reduce its local workforce by about 500 people, or 3%, by March 30 from the current 18,000, as part of a move to consolidate its manufacturing facilities in Japan. NEC Electronics currently has about 24,000 employees worldwide. The loss-making subsidiary of electronics giant NEC Corporation in November announced a plan to consolidate its six semiconductor-making units in Japan into three to accelerate its cost-cutting efforts and turn around its operations.

Rakuten has announced that its operating profit plunged 99.6% in 2007 from the previous year to Ñ118 million ($1.1 million), as it set aside hefty reserves to cover borrowers' claims for reimbursements of excessive interest charges at its financial unit. Rakuten's consolidated sales went up 5.2% to Ñ213.9 billion, helped by its healthy mainstay online shopping mall business and its solid online travel services and professional sports operations. Its group net profit swelled about 14 times to Ñ36.9 billion, due to a one-time gain stemming from the sales of part of its investment in Ctrip.com, a consolidator of hotel accommodations and airline tickets in China.


SK Telecom has bought a Chinese Global Positioning System (GPS) service provider in order to tap the Chinese telematics market. SK Telecom said it bought a controlling 65.5% stake in Shenzhen E-eye High Tech for W13.9 billion ($14.7 million), putting it under its holding company in China, SK Telecom China Holding. Telematics refers to the integration of GPS technology with computers and mobile communications technology in automotive navigation systems. SK Telecom said China's telematics market has been growing at a fast pace due to China's policy to require government-owned and special vehicles to be equipped with a GPS device ahead of this year's Beijing Olympics. Shenzhen E-eye High Tech manufactures GPS terminals and provides software platforms for logistics. SK Telecom said it will seek to sell GPS platforms to large companies in China, set up a nationwide distribution network and provide GPS and traffic information services.

Korea's anti-trust regulator has given conditional approval to SK Telecom for its planned takeover of Hanarotelecom. Following the takeover, SK Telecom will have a 50% share of the domestic mobile phone market and a 26% share of the local high-speed Internet service market. The commission decided to recommend to the Ministry of Information and Communication to retrieve the 800 megahertz frequency bandwidth from SK Telecom for redistribution in 2011 when the carrier's exclusive right to use it ends. The panel also attached some conditions on the deal to discourage a monopoly in both the mobile and internet service markets. The deal is subject to final approval by the Ministry of Information and Communication next week.

Korean handset maker LG and Omnifone, the UK-based mobile music start-up, will attempt to upstage NokiaÆs flagship music strategy by unveiling a rival handset and music package. Customers who buy the LG handset will get free, unlimited access to a library of around 1.5 million songs for 12 to 18 months and be able to keep favourite tracks at the end of this time. Called MusicStation Max, the package will be on sale before June, several months ahead of a similar launch by Nokia. Omnifone has signed a deal with Universal Music Group to provide music for the programme, and hopes to sign other labels soon. Universal also has a deal with Nokia.

Femtocells, which enables coverage of a 3G network to be expanded and offers a fixed-mobile convergence service, will be introduced by Korean mobile carriers this year. It will help carriers to save money for network establishment and allow subscribers a better calling experience with various additional services. KTF said it is currently negotiating with KT to share the fixed network. It is also in discussions with femtocell makers like Samsung and Motorola with regard to equipment purchases.

Samsung Electronics has begun mass production of 64GB solid state drives (SSDs) with its new SATA II interface, offering the highest performance rates in the industry for premium notebook PCs. Able to read data at 100 megabytes per second and write it at 80 megabytes per second, SamsungÆs SATA II SSD is up to 60% faster than SATA I drives and performs two to five times faster than conventional hard disk drives (HDDs). It also consumes nearly 75% less power than typical HDDs (1.45 watts compared to 2.1 watts) and at 73 grams, SSDs are much lighter than HDDs.

Samsung ElectronicsÆ LCD division has begun to establish a test line for AM OLED TV panels in order to begin mass production next year. The company is committed to catching up with Sony in the large-size panel market and the establishment of the test line is expected to make an impact in the industry.

Media, Entertainment and Gaming
Webzen recorded revenues of W6.9 billion ($7.3 million) in the fourth quarter, down 7.8% from the previous quarter. Even though total operating expenses decreased 4.7% to W10.6 billion due to the reduction of marketing costs, the operating loss increased 1.8% to W3.6 billion because of the revenue decrease. Ordinary profit increased 196.7% due to the partial disposal of GameOn shares and some tangible assets, and net income was W2.0 billion. The company announced that in 2008, three titles, including Huxley, will be commercialised and operational costs will come down due to the efficient management system and budget controls.

Information Technology
According to International Data Corporation, Accenture Korea is the top system integration firm in the world. In IDC's market share report on global and US system integration services, Accenture has shown dramatic growth in its information management service as well as in the solution business for SAP and Oracle products. Accenture Korea counted the strong relationship with its C-level executives as the key factor for the success.


Baidu.com beat expectations with a 79% surge in quarterly profit as it attracted more online advertising in the run up to the Beijing Olympics. Revenues more than doubled to Rmb571.1 million ($79.2 million). Fourth-quarter net income rose to Rmb219.8 million compared with Rmb122.8 million in the year-earlier period. But Baidu said recent winter storms that paralysed wide parts of China and cut power would lead to a 4.3%-7.1% fall in first quarter revenue. This would be the firm's first sequential fall in quarterly revenue, according to JPMorgan. Baidu predicted first-quarter sales of Rmb533 million to Rmb548 million, an increase of as much as 99% from a year earlier. The forecast is below the average estimate by seven analysts surveyed who project revenue of Rmb566.7 million. The company also said it was still interested in listing shares in Hong Kong but that a flotation was not likely this year. According to Analysys International, Baidu's share of the Chinese search market rose to 60% in the fourth quarter from 58% a year earlier. Google's share climbed to 26% from 17%, while Yahoo's fell to 9.6% from 13%. Sohu's share dropped to 1.2% from 5%.

The Chinese central government has targeted illegal websites, computer markets and Internet cafes as part of a campaign to rein in juvenile crime. The crackdown is also aimed at websites offering unregistered playing platforms or services for gamers that can be downloaded. Unlicensed internet cafes would be closed down and supervision would be tightened over legal cafes.

Xunlei, a download service provider in China, announced that it has lost a piracy suit brought forward by Shanghai Youdu Broadband Technology and will have to pay Rmb150,000 ($20,833) in compensation. Xunlei had allegedly violated the "rights of network promulgation and reaping profit" off Youdu promulgation rights. Youdu, which is a content provider for broadband users, paid Rmb600,000 to get the network promulgation rights for a Chinese blockbuster film. The agreement allows Xunlei to provide movies for download for one month. However, Xunlei does not have the rights yet to provide download links on its site for free.

China plans to have more than 95% of its villages covered by broadband services this year. Broadband connection already reaches 92% percent of the villages in China, which have about 122 million broadband users to put the country in the top rung in the world. Last year, China saw the addition of 73 million people to its total population, with 40% of them living in rural areas. At the end of last year, the total number of rural internet users was 52.6 million, a 127.7% jump year-on-year.

The Chinese government has decided to allow private video-sharing websites to continue operate as long as they do not broadcast illegal content. The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) and the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) said on its website that all video-sharing websites established before January 31 are qualified for a license and can continue operation. A license is needed for any website providing online video services and could have been granted only to state-owned or state-controlled enterprises, according to an earlier regulation.

China's phone subscribers, mobile and fixed line combined, are expected to grow by more than 60 million in 2008 to hit a total of 976 million, according to the Ministry of Information Industry. According to the ministry, the continuous fall of mobile communication charges has directly led to a sharp increase in mobile phone subscribers and some people even replaced their fixed-lines with mobile phones. In 2007, China's mobile phone subscribers increased by 86.2 million, while fixed-line subscribers fell by 2.3 million. By the end of the year, China had 370 million fixed-line subscribers and 530 million mobile subscribers, the two figures combined accounted for a fifth of the world's total phone subscribers, according to statistics from the ministry.

China's Ministry of Information Industry (MII) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) have announced that ChinaÆs mobile roaming service charges will be lowered starting from March 1 amid fervour of consumer expectation to entirely abolish them. Mobile phone users would be charged Rmb0.6 (about 8 US cents) per minute for making calls outside the local service area, and 4 cents per minute for receiving calls when they travel to another province, according to the new plan. This compares with current charges of Rmb1.3 to Rmb1.5 per minute for the current roaming service for Chinese cell-phone users under different payment schemes, prepaid or paying monthly. This means that the country's 530 million mobile subscribers will be able to enjoy price cuts ranging from 54% to 73% from next month, or no later than May 1.

China Mobile is expected to lend its support to LTE, the wireless broadband standard that looks set to become the flagship 4G technology. LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is gaining strong momentum as the next generation wireless technology to provide super-fast web surfing on mobiles. Vodafone also announced that it would join China Mobile and Verizon Wireless to promote LTE. This suggests LTE will emerge as the leading 4G technology, rather than WiMax or Ultra Mobile Broadband, which are the main alternatives. Vodafone said that WiMax should be harmonised with LTE and added that Vodafone is planning to roll out 4G networks from 2010.

Six handset makers, including Lenovo and ZTE, were awarded the first post-trial period access licenses to China's homegrown third generation (3G) network, according to the TD-SCDMA Industry Alliance. The move indicates that the technology is entering the commercial stage. The licenses would immediately give Lenovo, ZTE, Hisense, Samsung, LG and New Postcom opportunities to win procurement deals from China Mobile. In December, China Mobile said it planned to purchase 30,000 TD-SCDMA mobile phones and 10,000 data cards for 3G network trials. China Mobile, China Telecom and China Netcom, three major Chinese phone operators, are conducting network trials of TD-SCDMA in 10 cities. China has promised to provide 3G mobile communications services in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

ZTE Corporation said shipments of its Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) base stations surged 300-fold last year, ranking it as the fourth-largest supplier in the sector. ZTE shipped about 340,000 GSM wireless base stations, essentially mobile phone transmission sites, last year. The products are compatible with 3G mobile technology, according to the company. The company's product lines for the US-developed Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) standard that competes with GSM, also performed well in the market. As of the end of last year, ZTE was the biggest supplier in the CDMA market with a 43% market share of new CDMA infrastructure contracts.

China's telecommunications industry faces a huge bill after the worst winter in decades, with millions of users cut off and thousands of kilometres of phone lines damaged. Preliminary statistics from the Ministry of Information Industry showed the bad weather has led to losses of Rmb1.1 billion ($139.3 million). Ten million mobile and fixed-line subscribers were affected. Some 10,000 mobile-phone base stations remained out of service, and for fixed-line services, 150,000 poles had collapsed while 16,000km of lines had been damaged. It reported that 80,000 telecommunications workers had fanned out across the country trying to restore services as the Lunar New Year holiday added to the demand for phone services.

China's ZTE has signed a deal to supply 3G modems to Hutchison 3G U.K., a unit of Hong Kong-listed Hutchison Whampoa. Under the agreement, ZTE will supply its HSDPA MF622 modem to Hutchison 3G's operating companies 3UK and 3 Ireland. No financial details were provided.

Investments/ Ventures
Citigroup and Central China Securities will soon apply to Chinese regulators to set up an investment banking joint venture. The new company will be Citigroup's first investment banking venture in China. It already helps Chinese mainland companies list in Hong Kong, but involvement in the country's mainland investment banking business will be an important expansion. Under its deal with Central China Securities, Citigroup will apply for permission to own the maximum allowable 33% stake in the venture. Central China Securities has more than 500,000 securities business clients and about 40 offices in major cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, where its investment banking business is based, according to data from the company.

China Resources Logic said the proposal to dispose of its semiconductor businesses to CSMC Technologies Corporation and the proposal to acquiring Redland Concrete Limited have both been approved by its shareholders. As more time is needed to fulfill certain internal procedures before the capital reorganisation can be effected, with the consent of the shareholders of CR Logic, the special general meeting was adjourned after dealing with the above ordinary resolutions.

ChinaÆs software industry saw an increase in revenue of more than 20% last year, boosted by particularly swift growth in income from services. According to the Ministry of Information Industry, the mainland software industry generated revenues of Rmb580 billion ($80.5 million). Software and technology services saw the steepest growth, rising 24.8% to Rmb97.8 billion. China has vowed to raise the contribution to growth from technology-intensive industries such as software.

AsiaInfo reported fourth quarter and 2007 full year results and announced several significant contracts with China's telecom carriers. Total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2007 was US$40.8 million, a 27% year-over-year increase and 26% increase from last quarter. Excluding share-based compensation expenses, amortisation and impairment charges, after-tax dividend income and gain on discontinued operations the net income was $8.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, a 189% year-over-year increase and 76% increase from the previous quarter. The Company also announced agreements to: (i) develop a Customer Relations Management system for China Telecom in Xinjiang; (ii) develop a mobile e-commerce platform for China Mobile; (iii) expand China Mobile's Business Operation Support Systems (BOSS) in Zhejiang, Gansu and Shanghai; (iv) expand and upgrade Business Intelligence (BI) systems for China Mobile in Qinghai and Beijing; and (v) expand China Netcom's CRM system in Jiangsu.

A fire at TaiwanÆs Lite-On, a desktop monitor producer, could disrupt supplies to the PC industry, with Dell, Hewlett Packard and Lenovo particularly at risk. The fire at one of Lite-OneÆs factories in the mainland this month had caused initial damage of about NT$2.3 billion ($72.5 million). The losses included structural damage of the building, and damage to some equipment and stocks. Fourteen production lines of liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors were also interrupted, the company said in a statement.

TaiwanÆs Acer to launch low-cost PCs this year following a recent strong reception for similar models from competitors. According to the company, it will have products that address ultra mobility and low-cost segments between the second and third quarters. Acer is still developing the low-cost model, which could be 7 to 9 inches wide, and could cost about $470. TaiwanÆs Asustek Computer, a competitor to Acer, launched its line of low-cost Eee PC laptops last year, with a price tag of as low as $200. Asustek has so far been successful in marketing and selling its child-friendly Linux-based notebook globally, although profit margins for the products are thin according to analysts.

Acer reported a 76.9% jump in quarterly profit from its acquisition of Gateway with revenues increased by 30% in the final quarter of 2007 and 25% for the full year. AcerÆs 2007 consolidated revenues hit NT$461.7 billion ($14.6 billion). The fourth-quarter results included revenues from Gateway, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Acer, from the final two and a half months of 2007. Profit after tax rose to NT$2.3 billion in the three months to December 31, from NT$1.3 billion a year earlier. Net income for the full-year rose from NT$10.2 billion in 2006 to NT$12.9 billion in 2007.

Acer forecasted its PC shipments would rise 30%-35% percent this year, driven by a 40% jump in shipments of notebook computers. This is far above most forecasts for the overall PC market and analysts cautioned the company could struggle to keep up the pace of growth as consumer demand in the US and Europe tapers off in the wake of the US credit crisis. Citigroup predicted last month that global PC shipments would grow by 11% this year following 14% in 2007. A downturn in US and European computer demand is expected to hit Acer harder than Lenovo, because AcerÆs biggest markets are Europe and the U.S., while Lenovo still relies on the Chinese market for the bulk of its growth.

Hong Kong

BYD Electronic is to buy Hungary handset parts maker for HK$177 million ($22.7 million). The company said it has agreed to buy Mirae Hungary, a handset components maker who possesses advanced technologies, popular and competitive products and an established network of customers and suppliers in Hungary which will help BYD expedite its globalisation process.

Lenovo has sold its handset business for $100 million to four private equity firms, two of them partly owned by Lenovo. The company decided to sell off the business unit after a disastrous quarter in which sales fell 31% The company believes that the personal computer business and the current mobile handset business are two distinctive businesses where the room for achieving synergy is relatively limited. However, Lenovo Mobile sold its handsets in just one market, whereas the computer business enjoys global scale. Lenovo Mobile made a loss of Rmb133.7 million ($18.6 million) in the year ended December 31, 2007, compared with a Rmb426 million profit in 2006. As part of the deal, Lenovo agreed to arrange a $25 million loan for Lenovo Mobile.

China Unicom said planned reductions of tariff caps for domestic mobile roaming services may have an impact on its revenue. The company said it will continue to expand its customer base, develop its value-added services and strengthen its existing services in order to minimize any such impact.

According to S&P, the positive outlook on its rating for PCCW is not affected by the companyÆs decision to privatise its property development unit. The positive outlook on the rating reflects the steady improvement in profitability at the parent's TV and mobile businesses, S&P said. It also reflects the expectation that PCCW's business strategy will not radically change.

Spanich telecommunications company Telefonica is planning to increase its stake in China Netcom Group Corporation (Hong Kong), a China-based fixed-line telecommunications operator, to 10% from 7.22%.


Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) is investing $550 million this year in support of the outsourcing and offshoring (O&O) sector. This will be used to expand network infrastructure and upgrade capacities in relevant areas across the country to further enable the O&O industry to become more globally competitive. The company has allotted $238 million for 17 international projects that will enhance its cable systems, which will be hosted by PLDT for termination in the Philippines. Through the capex, PLDT Æs would increase its international cable-bandwidth capacity to 125 gigabits per second (Gbps) from last yearÆs 90 Gbpsùwhich could accommodate 2% of the population calling abroad at the same time. The company will also hook up with the 100-Gbps Asia-America Gateway Bandwidth, which will provide Southeast Asia with a first ever high-capacity connectivity to mainland USA by the first quarter of 2009. At present, PLDT has invested about $238 million in 17 international cable projects worldwide. The company is also targeting to have 7,000 GPRS-enabled cell sites, 1,000 3G (third generation)-enabled cell sites, and 2,000 fixed wireless broadband sites.

Ayala Corporation reported a 33% jump in unaudited consolidated net income in 2007 to Ps16.2 billion ($398.3 million), the highest ever recorded by the company. The firm disclosed that record profits were due to higher capital gains from share sales, lower financing expenses, and stable equity earnings from operating units drove earnings substantially higher during the year. Ayala booked Ps7.3 billion in capital gains from its value realisation initiatives, 55% higher than the Ps4.7 billion capital gains in 2006. Even if these gains were to be excluded, net income would be up by about 19%. AyalaÆs major operating units, Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI), Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), and Globe Telecom (Globe) recently reported double-digit growth in net income for 2007.

Information Technology
A government-organised conference is emphasising the readiness of "tier-two" cities to host outsourcing work in the Philippines to reflect the growing trend among BPO firms which have started to locate in the countryside. This yearÆs 8th e-Services Global Sourcing Conference and Exhibition would serve as a venue for BPO firms to examine the current shift among service providers of locating to offshoring hubs outside the business districts of Metro Manila, and other tier-one cities. According to the government, the BPO industry employs more than 300,000 Filipinos and would generated approximately a 34% growth in revenues this year from 2006.

Media, Entertainment and Gaming
IP E-Game Ventures has entered into a shareholdersÆ agreement for the purpose of creating and operating a joint venture company to be incorporated under the name I-Play. The company is the online gaming subsidiary of IPVG Corporation and GMA New Media, the digital media arm of GMA Network. The business venture will focus on designing, operating and maintaining casual online gaming and casual online gaming-related portals. The investment in I-Play, Inc. will be in the form of an authorised capital stock worth Ps800 million ($19.7 million), with an initial paid-in capitalisation of Ps200 million. I-Play will be equally owned by IP E-Games and GMA-NMI. I-Play is set to commence operations in the first quarter of 2008. Both GMA-NMI and IP E-Games agree that the future of online gaming in the Philippines lies in the casual gaming segment because it appeals to a much broader audience base. Anticipating the changing media landscape on a global scale, NMI is venturing into digital TV through its Internet TV and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) offerings, which will allow global audiences not only to access GMA content but also to customise it to their liking.

An Indonesian court will delay its decision on Temasek HoldingsÆ appeal on an antitrust ruling to the end of March. IndonesiaÆs antitrust regulator said on December 5, 2007, that Singapore state-owned Temasek and nine other related companies breached laws by controlling prices through indirect stakes in the countryÆs two biggest mobile phone operators.

Digi.com, MalaysiaÆs second biggest publicly traded mobile phone company, has announced that its CEO Morten Lundal will quit to join Vodafone Group and take a senior international role at Vodafone Group, the worldÆs biggest wireless operator. Lundal will be replaced by chief financial officer Johan Dennelind.

Total Access Communication (TAC), ThailandÆs second-largest wireless operator announced fourth quarter profit climbed 22% as the carrier added subscribers with new price packages. Net income rose to Bt1.59 billion ($48 million) from Bt1.31 billion a year earlier. Revenue gained 36% to Bt16.8 billion. TAC added 893,961 users during the fourth quarter, a 17% increase from a year earlier, which brought the total number of users to 15.8 million at the end of 2007.

StarHub, the second largest telephone company in Singapore, announced fourth quarter profit fell 31% to S$98.3 million ($69.3 million) from S$141.7 million, following the absence of a one-time tax gain. Sales advanced 14% to S$538.8 million. Profit surpassed the S$84 million median estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. StarHub predicted sales this year will rise about 10%. Full year net income fell 8.3% to S$330.3 million and sales in 2007 climbed 12% to S$2.01 billion. Revenue from the high speed internet service increased 7.2% to S$62.4 million in the fourth quarter while sales from cable television services rose 20% to S$95 million. Mobile phone services revenue climbed 14% to S$275.6 million. StarHub added 74,000 mobile users during the fourth quarter for a total of 1.76 million users and a 31.3% share of the Singapore wireless market at the end of December. StarHub will pay stockholders a dividend of 4.5 Singapore cents a share. StarHub plans to pay at least 18 cents in dividends this year.

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