Sat, May 17, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Stocks decline for second day, led by TSMC, Asustek


Stocks fell for the second day, paced by exporters such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) on concern the nation's economy probably grew at its slowest pace in a year and may slow further as SARS cools consumption in Asia.

The TAIEX fell 47.47, or 1.1 percent, to 4,283.77. About three stocks declined for every one that gained. For the week, the index gained 0.9 percent. The Taiwan Futures Index dropped 1.5 percent to 4,260.

TSMC fell NT$0.70, or 1.4 percent, to NT$48.80. Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) fell NT$2, or 2.7 percent, to NT$73.

First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) fell NT$0.20, or 1 percent, to NT$20.10.

First Financial plans to seek approval from government regulators next week for an overseas sale of as much as 1 billion new shares, said president Ray Dawn (董瑞彬).

First Financial's shareholders yesterday approved the sale, which represents more than a quarter of its total outstanding shares. It plans to use the proceeds to boost capital in First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) by NT$17.5 billion ($505 million) after the unit wrote off more than NT$70 billion of bad loans last year.

The lender is raising capital through a sale of global depositary receipts because "we have no other choice," chairman Jerome Chen (陳建隆) told shareholders.

Quanta Display Inc (廣輝電子) fell NT$0.35, or 3.2 percent, to NT$10.55.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) will buy 49 percent of the NT$4.1 billion (US$118.3 million) in new shares of Quanta Display to enter the notebook personal computer business, a local newspaper reported, without giving its source of information.

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