Thu, Jul 24, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Analysts give chips stocks a boost, TAIEX rises

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Stocks gained for a second day yesterday, led by Taiwan Semi-conductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc said demand for chips used in wireless communications is improving.

Lehman Brothers analysts Daniel Niles and Joseph To upgraded makers of semiconductors for wireless communications, including Texas Instruments Inc, which was raised to "overweight" from "underweight."

"Taiwan Semiconductor will disproportionately benefit more in the industry recovery as its market leading position will give it an edge over others," said Celine Chiang (江宜津), who manages the equivalent of US$16 million for Polaris International Securities Investment Trust Co's (寶來投信) Chronicle Fund.

The fund has gained 15 percent in the past 12 months, compared with the index's 2 percent advance.

TSMC makes some chips used in Texas Instruments' products.

The TAIEX added 26.88, or 0.5 percent, to 5,287.89. About five stocks gained for very six that declined. About 4.2 billion shares changed hands, 1.5 percent above the average trading in the past three months. The value of trading was NT$103.2 billion (US$3.5 billion), 18 percent above the three-month daily average.

TSMC rose NT$1, or 1.8 percent, to NT$57.50. United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) added NT$0.20, or 0.8 percent, to NT$24.70.

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) rose NT$0.40, or 1.5 percent, to NT$26.40. Fubon said it may raise as much as US$257.5 million by selling bonds convertible into its shares to overseas investors.

First Financial Holding Co (第一金控), the owner of the nation's fourth-biggest bank by assets, fell NT$0.40, or 2 percent, to NT$20. First Financial may raise as much as US$515 million when it sells 1 billion new shares at a discount to overseas investors, said a banker involved in the transaction.

The company will sell the shares in the form of global depositary receipts for the local currency equivalent of NT$17.5 to NT$17.75 apiece, the banker said. That's a discount to Tuesday's closing price of as much as 14 percent.

Novatek Microelectronics Corp (聯詠科技), which designs chips for computer flat displays, was unchanged at NT$94. The stock was raised to "buy" from "neutral" by Eric Chen, an analyst at Nomura Securities Co.

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