* TSMC chairman upbeat on 2010
TAIPEI, Dec 21 - TSMC <2330.TW>, the world's top contract chipmaker, said it will raise base salaries for its employees by 15 percent from January, anticipating a bright 2010 with chip sales and demand set to outpace this year.
TSMC <TSM.N> is planning to increase capital spending next year to tap growing demand for new PCs and other high-tech gadgets, and as chipmakers in the U.S. and Europe step up outsourcing to chip foundries to cut costs. [ID:nTOE5B902C]
TSMC Chairman Morris Chang gave a video talk on his company's new compensation system to employees on Monday and announced the raise, the company said.
"Right now it looks as if 2010 will be a very good year for us, but the number of employees will increase, and the number of people earning bonuses and profit-sharing will also increase," Chang said.
"This is a structural change and is unrelated to the annual salary review," added Chang, who said earlier this year that TSMC aimed to post record sales and profit in 2010.
The news came after the Taipei stock market closed on Monday. TSMC shares ended up 0.48 percent, largely in line with the main TAIEX <.TWII>.
TSMC also said it would give an annual bonus equal to two months' salary on Jan. 25.
As part of the new system, TSMC said half of employee profit-sharing for 2010 would be distributed on a quarterly basis, and the remaining 50 percent would be distributed after the annual shareholder meeting the following year.
Technology demand is widely expected to weaken into the first quarter next year after the holiday season shopping spree, but analysts say that could be a blip as new computers, mobile phones and flat-screen TVs could boost fresh demand for chips. (US$1=T$32.4)