Thu, Jan 16, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Shippers lead TAIEX to highest level since July 25

BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

Taiwan stocks rose, driving the TAIEX to almost a six-month high, paced by Yang Ming Marine Transport (陽明海運) and Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運) on expectations the shippers will raise freight rates.

Yang Ming, Taiwan's third-largest shipping company by market value, and Evergreen are currently negotiating their Asia-US rates for this year with their customers.

Yang Ming also said yesterday it will team up with Hanjin Shipping Co, South Korea's second-largest, to add two Asia-Europe routes from next month. Yang Ming rose NT$1.40, or 7 percent, to NT$21.50. Evergreen Marine rose NT$1.80, or 6.8 percent, to NT$28.30.

"Shipping stocks have risen because of expectations freight rates are rising," said Douglas Chang, who manages about US$20 million in stocks at Union Securities Investment Trust Corp (聯邦投信).

The TAIEX rose 25.28, or 0.5 percent, to close at 5,017.70, its highest since July 25. Almost two stocks rose for every one that fell. The value of trade was NT$120.4 billion (US$3.5 billion).

Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦) rose NT$0.70, or 1.7 percent, to NT$41. Goldman Sachs Group Inc made Compal its top stock pick among Taiwan's notebook makers because of its higher gross margins and its early entry into the handphone market.

Largan Precision Co (大立光電) rose NT$3, or 1.7 percent, to NT$184. The maker of optical lenses and shutters for digital cameras posted a pretax profit of NT$910.9 million last year, exceeding its estimate by 26 percent.

Mirle Automation Corp (盟立自動化) rose NT$0.20, or 0.7 percent, to NT$28.70. The Taiwan-based maker of automation equipment posted an unaudited net income of NT$161.7 million last year, exceeding its estimate by 18 percent.

Sampo Corp (聲寶) rose NT$0.95, or 6.6 percent, to NT$15.30. Taiwan's biggest consumer electronics maker said its purchase of Grundig AG will help it boost sales of flat-panel display televisions five-fold this year, keeping profit steady as income from asset sales drops.

Systex Corp (精業) rose NT$0.80, or 4.3 percent, to NT$19.30. Taiwan's largest financial-information provider said it received approval from the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Investment Commission to invest US$2.5 million in China.

Ta Jung Transportation Co (大榮貨運) rose NT$0.40, or 5 percent, to NT$8.40. The freight company said it received approval from the Investment Commission to invest US$784,000 in Chengdu and US$859,000 in Guangzhou to expand its storage and distribution business in China.

Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業) rose NT$0.85, or 6.9 percent, to NT$13.15. A local newspaper reported Taiwan's largest food processor company will invest NT$8 billion to build a bus transit station near the Taipei City Hall.

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