European stocks gained for the second month amid optimism earnings will rise as economies recover. Royal Philips Electronics NV, Deutsche Bank AG and Aegon NV led the advance. \n"We are seeing good signs that the recovery is starting," said Carsten Gerlinger, who oversees 800 million euros (US$796 million) at DZ International in Luxembourg and is considering buying shares in Siemens AG and Vodafone Group Plc. The Dow Jones Stoxx 50 Index may add 10 percent before the year ends, he said. \nThe index rose 3.9 percent in November and had its first back-to-back monthly gains since November-December 2001. The 15 percent advance so far this quarter is the best two-month performance since the end of 1999. \nStocks were helped this week by surveys showing a gain in confidence among French manufacturers and UK consumers. Reports that manufacturing in the Chicago area rose in November and new claims for US unemployment benefits fell last week further fueled speculation that demand for products may be rising. \nEurope's 300 biggest companies generate about a fifth of their sales in the US. \nEarlier this month, companies including Kuoni Reisen Holding AG, Switzerland's largest travel company, and ABN Amro Holding NV, the largest Dutch bank, said cost cuts helped them beat analysts' forecasts. \nPhilips, Europe's largest maker of consumer electronics, surged 22 percent in November. Deutsche Bank, the region's biggest lender, gained 14 percent and Aegon, the second-largest Dutch insurer, climbed 19 percent. \nSome investors question whether there has been enough evidence of growth to justify recent share-price gains. \nThe Stoxx 50 declined 0.5 percent to 2,661.51, led by France Telecom SA and Munich Re as analysts cut their ratings. \n"Valuations are starting to look a bit high," said Stuart O'Gorman, who helps manage US$900 million in technology stocks at Henderson Global Investors. "You need quite a strong recovery to justify some of these prices." \nO'Gorman may cut his stock holdings if the equity market rally extends into next year. \nFrance Telecom, whose shares have more than doubled this quarter, slipped 4.3 percent to 18 euros. The former French monopoly was downgraded to "underweight" from "equal-weight" by Morgan Stanley, which called the current price "unreasonable." \n Munich Re shed 3.1 percent to 140 euros as UBS Warburg cut its rating to "hold" from "buy," arguing the stock has little room to gain. The shares have advanced 32 percent since the end of September. \nNokia Oyj dropped 2.3 percent to 19.40 euros, trimming its gain this quarter to 44 percent. The shares reached a seven-month high yesterday. Analysts' profit expectations for the world's largest handset maker may be too optimistic, according to a note today from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. \nThe Stoxx technology, insurance and telecommunications indexes have each surged more than a third since the end of September. \nABB Ltd and Cie. de Saint-Gobain SA rose today on optimism asbestos-related costs may be limited, as Fresenius Medical Care AG neared an agreement to settle US claims. \nFresenius Medical, the world's leading dialysis provider, climbed 24 percent to 42.98 euros after agreeing to settle asbestos claims in the US for US$15 million. \n"This is very good news -- we'd heard talk of sums as much as a billion euros," said Michael Kapler, who helps manage 13 billion euros in investments at Trinkaus Capital Management in Dusseldorf, Germany. \nFresenius, its parent company, climbed 25 percent to 44.50 euros. \nABB added 5.3 percent to 4.97 Swiss francs. Europe's largest electrical-engineering company has offered plaintiffs US$1.1 billion to settle about 111,000 asbestos-relating claims against a US unit.
PLANNED OUT: The government is lifting sale and export restrictions on 60% of the 20 million masks made daily, but people can still make purchases using their NHI cards Twenty thousand boxes of 50 masks each would be on sale at FamilyMart convenience stores starting tomorrow, Taiwan FamilyMart Co Ltd (全家便利商店) said yesterday. A box of 50 masks would cost NT$249 for those with FamilyMart memberships and NT$299 for those without, with no limits placed on how many boxes a person can buy, the company said. Convenience store chain operator Hi-Life International Co Ltd (萊爾富) said that it would also start selling masks from tomorrow. It has yet to announce details about prices and quantity. Hypermarket chain operator Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福) said that it would start selling packs of five
BOOSTING BUYING: A source said that the idea of pre-ordering vouchers online is being considered, but the preliminary plan is for people to buy them at post offices A stimulus voucher program to be rolled out next month to boost consumption would be available not only to Taiwanese, but also foreign nationals and Chinese spouses who hold residency permits, a source familiar with the matter said yesterday. The government is fine-tuning the details of the program, which involves issuing vouchers for in-store purchases to revive buying amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During a radio interview on Monday last week, National Development Council (NDC) Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said that the plan is to allow anyone, regardless of age or income level, to buy NT$3,000 (US$99.89) worth of vouchers for
Delta Electronics Inc (台達電), the nation’s leading power management solutions provider, has signed an agreement to acquire Canadian software firm Trihedral Engineering Ltd to bolster its smart production efforts, it said on Saturday. Delta said in a statement that it would acquire Trihedral for C$45 million (US$32.68 million) through its 100 percent-owned subsidiary Delta Electronics (Netherlands) BV. Trihedral specializes in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and industrial Internet of Things software, which would strengthen Delta’s hardware offerings in fast-growing areas such as automation, artificial intelligence and data analytics, it said. “The collection, monitoring and analyzing of data are critical to Delta’s two
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the