Fri, Jul 25, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Chipmaker, computer stocks lead as market rallies


Stocks rallied for a third day yesterday, led by Taiwan Semicon-ductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The largest supplier of made-to-order chips said after the close of trading that second-quarter profit jumped 26 percent from a year ago.

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) and Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦) advanced after the nation's export orders last month grew at their fastest pace in five months.

"Computer demand has certainly improved from last year, offering computer-related companies decent returns," said Tracy Chen, who manages US$76 million in stocks at Prudential Securities Investment Trust Co (保誠投信).

Sentiment was also bolstered by news that Morgan Stanley Capital International has opened a formal review regarding Taiwan's weighting in its indices following the country's recent relaxation of restrictions on foreign portfolio investors, dealers said.

The TAIEX added 114.86, or 2.2 percent, to 5,402.75, extending its two-day, 1.3 percent gain. Turnover was NT$132.55 billion (US$3.85 billion). About five stocks advanced for every one that declined.

July futures on the index rose 2 percent to 5,415.

TSMC rose NT$1, or 1.7 percent, to NT$58.50.

Rival United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) rose NT$1 to NT$25.70 despite weaker American depositary receipts overnight.

Asustek surged NT$7, or 7 percent, to NT$107.50. Quanta Computer rose NT$2.50, or 3.1 percent, to NT$84.

Exporters are securing more orders as consumers in cities such as Hong Kong and Beijing return to stores after the spread of SARS was contained.

"The outbreak of SARS sup-pressed consumer demand in the first half, but delayed consumption should help sustain demand in the summer, as well as the fourth quarter," Chen said.

First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) climbed NT$0.60, or 3 percent, to NT$20.60 after falling as much as 1 percent in earlier trading. First Financial raised $515 million from the sale of 1 billion new shares to overseas investors, pricing them at the top of a proposed range.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) jumped NT$10, or 6.7 percent, to NT$160. Hon Hai started marketing about US$400 million of bonds convertible into shares to finance the purchase of materials, arranger ABN Amro Rothschild said. The company may sell a further US$50 million of the bonds, depending on demand.

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