Fri, May 16, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Mega Financial, other lenders fall on loan concerns

BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

Stocks fell for the first day in five yesterday, paced by lenders such as Mega Financial Holdings Co (兆豐金控) after Standard & Poor's said the nation's bad loans may increase as SARS cuts into consumer spending and slows growth.

The TAIEX shed 9.86, or 0.2 percent, to 4,331.24. About two stocks declined for every one that gained. The Taiwan Futures Index fell 0.3 percent to 4,324.

Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業) gained NT$0.10, or 1 percent, to NT$10.15 after Japan's Nissin Food Products Co said it will buy a 10-percent stake in a unit of Uni-President in China.

Manufacturers, including Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), also fell. Hon Hai, the nation's largest electronics maker, lost NT$1.5, or 1.3 percent, to NT$112.50.

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦) dropped NT$1.5, or 2.3 percent, to NT$64.

"SARS has a sweeping impact on the economy," said Celine Chiang, who helps manage the equivalent of US$144 million in equities at Polaris International Securities Investment Trust Co (寶來投信).

"Manufacturers will feel the pain first, followed by financial companies," she said.

Mega Financial, the third largest lender, dropped NT$0.20, or 1.3 percent, to NT$15.80. Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控), the nation's fifth largest financial company by market value, fell NT$0.40, or 1.4 percent, to NT$27.40.

China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控) drop-ped NT$0.20, or 1.6 percent, to NT$12.05.

The ratio of non-performing loans to total loans was 13 percent as of December, according to Ryan Tsang (曾宜景), director of financial services ratings at S&P.

BenQ Corp (明基電通) fell NT$0.40, or 1.1 percent, to NT$37.60. BenQ hired Inventec Co (英業達) to make notebook computers under its brand, a local newspaper reported, citing no one.

Inventec was unchanged at NT$20.60.

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