Wed, May 07, 2003 - Page 11 News List

TAIEX rises for third day, financials and China Steel gain

BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

The TAIEX rose for a third day, led by Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) and Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), on optimism the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) will affect them less than other businesses.

China Steel Corp (中鋼) gained after it said pretax profit in April more than quadrupled.

The TAIEX added 18.33, or 0.4 percent, to 4,220.45. Two stocks gained for every one that declined.

MSCI Taiwan futures for May delivery in Singapore fell 0.9, or 0.5 percent to 182.10. The Taiwan Futures Index fell 5, or 0.1 percent, to 4185.

The value of trade was NT$43.2 billion, 17 percent less than the daily average in the past three months.

At least four financial holding companies still expect more than NT$15 billion (US$431 million) each in net income this year, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, citing company executives it didn't identify.

"Financial companies may be hurt less by SARS than manufacturers," said Belinda Yu, who manages the equivalent of US$201 million of stocks at Jih Sun Securities Investment Trust Co (日盛投信).

"There have been rumors of infections in factories and if those are true, entire production lines will have to shut," she said.

Cathay Financial, the nation's largest financial services company, rose NT$0.50, or 1.3 percent, to NT$39.90. Fubon Financial shares added NT$0.30, or 1.3 percent, to NT$24.30.

China Steel climbed NT$0.30, or 1.5 percent, to NT$20.10. Pretax profit last month surged to NT$3.49 billion from NT$755 million in the year earlier. Sales rose to NT$10.7 billion last month from NT$8 billion in last year's period.

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