Tue, Jul 01, 2003 - Page 11 News List

TAIEX drops, led by UMC

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Stocks fell for a third day yesterday. United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world's second largest maker of computer chips on a subcontracting basis, fell af-ter a newspaper reported the government may sell a stake in the company.

VIA Technologies Inc (威盛電子), the world's second-largest maker of chipsets for personal compu-ters, gained after a report that the company will halt its losses by the third quarter following the settlement of a legal dispute with Intel Corp.

The TAIEX shed 5.75, or 0.1 percent, to 4,872.15. About three stocks gained for every two that declined. July futures on the index rose 0.5 percent to 4,885.

The index gained 13 percent this quarter, its biggest quarterly gain since the last quarter of 2001.

About 4.1 billion shares changed hands, 9 percent below the average daily volume in the past three months. The value of trading was NT$58.1 billion (US$1.7 billion), 12 percent below the average daily value traded in the last three months.

UMC fell NT$0.30, or 1.3 percent, to NT$22.30. The government may sell 150 million shares, or 0.1 percent, in the company, a Chinese-language newspaper reported yesterday.

"Many major shareholders such as the government are likely to sell shares," said Celine Chiang, a fund manager at Polaris International Securities Investment Trust Co (寶來投信).

The government may also sell as much as a 40 percent stake in China Steel Corp (中船) and 1.1 million shares, or 0.04 percent, of Taiwan Cement Corp (台泥), the paper said.

China Steel rose NT$0.70, or 3 percent, to NT$24. Taiwan Cement rose NT$0.20, or 1.8 percent, to NT$11.45.

"The selling pressure on China Steel is limited as the government most likely will seek overseas buyer for its stake," Chiang said.

Lite-On Technology Inc (光寶科技), a maker of computer monitors and cellphones, gained NT$0.40, or 1.1 percent, to NT$37.10. Lite-On's handset shipments reached 2.1 million units, the Central News Agency reported. The report didn't provide a year ago figure.

MediaTek Inc (聯發科技), rose NT$4, or 1.2 percent, to NT$347.

The company was included in a fund that tracks the performance of the Taiwan 50 Index. The fund began trading yesterday.

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