The Rundown: Merck Investment, Fubon Employment, and Listed Company Revenue Increase

A weekly snapshot of Taiwan business news stories brought to you by CommonWealth and AmCham Taiwan’s TOPICS

Merck Announces Largest-Ever Taiwan Investment

German science and technology firm Merck announced last week that it will invest approximately NT$17 billion in Taiwan over the next 5-7 years. The funds will primarily go toward the establishment of a large-scale semiconductor materials production and application R&D center in southern Taiwan.

The planned investment constitutes the largest Merck has made in Taiwan so far and could create around 400 jobs, doubling the number of workers employed in the company’s semiconductor operations in Taiwan.

On December 16, Merck Taiwan Group, the company’s Taiwan subsidiary, held a ground-breaking ceremony for a new electronic materials delivery and supply equipment manufacturing plant in the Kaohsiung branch of the Southern Taiwan Science Park. The company also leased 15 hectares of land from the park’s administration to be used for its planned “mega-site,” which is expected to begin operations in 2022.

Fubon and Jih Sun Labor Union Agree to Employment Conditions

Following numerous negotiations between the labor union of Jih Sun Financial Holdings and Fubon Financial Holdings, which acquired Jih Sun earlier this year, an initial consensus was finally reached on December 17.

According to the plan agreed to by both parties, Fubon will not for any reason related to the acquisition lay off or dismiss with severance pay any employees. As for preferential retirement conditions, based on the provisions of the Labor Standards Act regarding voluntary retirement, Fubon will issue an additional five months of average salary, and will also institute a three-month retention bonus.

Fubon in late March finalized a hostile takeover of Jih Sun, the first case in Taiwan’s M&A history of one financial holding company acquiring another financial holding company. The plan is for the two companies to be fully merged by the first quarter of 2022.

Taiwan Listed Companies Achieve Increased Revenue in 2021

The Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) recently reported that the total revenue of Taiwan’s listed companies in the first 11 months of this year reached NT$34.6 trillion (US$1.22 trillion), a 16.58% increase from the same period last year.

The TWSE noted that among the sectors that experienced higher revenue between January and the end of November were shipping, the earnings for which increased by 103.55%; oil and gas, which experienced a 69.39% jump in revenue; and steel, with a 49.16% rise in revenue.

Those sectors that experienced a drop in revenue included financial services and insurance (12.03% decrease), the miscellaneous electronics sector (8.7% decrease), and the automotive industry, whose revenue fell by 8.33% due to the effects of the global chip shortage on supply chains.

This edition was translated from the original Chinese by Jeremy Olivier.