Tue, Aug 01, 2000 - Page 17 News List

Chen's speech does little to inspire TAIEX

JAWBONING The president yesterday said he hoped fundamental factors would influence the market. But the nation's main index ended lower anyway

By Stanley Chou  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) market comments at a press conference yesterday failed to appease investors, as the TAIEX slipped 29.01 points to end at 8,114.92, down 0.4 percent.

Turnover was NT$50.8 billion, the second-lowest level this year.

Chen's comments were made during the first hour of trade yesterday.

But the lack of substantial remarks on the nation's economic policies prompted investors to sell, reversing earlier gains in the market.

Chen said that July and August were typically light months for market activity, and there was no concrete answer as to where the TAIEX should be.

"If non-economic factors adversely affect the index, I and the new administration will express due concern," Chen said, without elaborating.

"I wish the stock market would reflect fundamentals, instead of non-economic factors."

Chen said the new administration was limited in its efforts, and could only act in manner allowed by the Constitution.

He said that Premier Tang Fei (唐飛) understood the importance of economic issues, and that a meeting would be held early this month to discuss financial policies.

Two areas of focus will be the real estate market and traditional industries, Chen said. "We will not disappoint you," he promised.

But KMT legislators were quick to criticize Chen's comments.

"The content of President Chen's speech addressed no issues that concern the general public," said Chen Jian-jyh (陳健治), a KMT legislator.

"While he was talking about reviving the stock market, the market dropped. He gave no solutions."

Meanwhile, Shea Jia-dong (許嘉棟), minister of finance, told the Legislative Yuan yesterday that "the Ministry of Finance will draw up policies to revive the stock market and some measures will be submitted to the Executive Yuan" this month.

"The four government funds have been playing an important role in stabilizing the stock market," Shea said.

But he declined to disclose details of the funds' recent operations. Shea also denied a local media report that the ministry had held discussions with the banking industry on how to support shares before the market opened yesterday.

"The domestic economy's fundamentals are quite good and sluggish share prices are related to microeconomic problems," Shea said.

"The Executive Yuan has been studying proposals to improve the situation. The factors that have been affecting the stock market are being dealt with."

Shea also said domestic investors should consider the market's long-term prospects.

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