Sat, Jul 26, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

M2 expanded in June

Banks' lending and investment rose last month for the first time in almost two years, helping expand the nation's money supply at the fastest pace since January, the central bank said.

Total loans and investments by major financial institutions rose 1.8 percent from a year earlier, the first increase since August 2001, the central bank said in a statement.

M2, the broadest measure of the money supply, grew 2.9 percent after expanding 2.6 percent in May.

M1B money supply rose 9.2 percent last month after increasing 7.1 percent in May.

M1A, which tracks net currency in circulation plus checking accounts and passbook deposits, grew 6.6 percent after expanding 7.3 percent the previous month, today's report showed.

Foreign investment in the nation's stocks and increased trade receipts also helped boost M2 last month, the central bank said.

Cathay Financial's Q2 profit up

Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), the nation's biggest financial services company, indicated net income in the second quarter surged more than 13-fold following its acquisition of the country's 11th-biggest bank by assets.

Profit rose to NT$6.5 billion (US$189 million) from NT$486 million in the year-earlier quarter, according to figures Bloomberg News derived by subtracting first-quarter results from the first-half figures Cathay Financial reported in an e-mailed statement.

The company didn't elaborate.

Showa Denko to ally with Trace

Showa Denko K.K., a Japanese aluminum smelter and maker of plastics and resins, said Thursday that it will ally with closely held Taiwan's Trace Storage Technol-ogy Corp (和喬科技) to expand production of hard disks for computers, consumer audiovisual equipment and car navigators.

The company also said that it will increase production capacity for its hard disks.

It has developed a flexible solar panel that may be used for recharging portable consumer electronics equipment, AFX-Asia reported yesterday.

Windance complex opens

A shopping-entertainment complex styled the largest in Asia opened in Hsinchu yesterday.

The Windance complex (風城購物中心), comprising 12 storeys above ground and five basement floors, is home to some 120 specialty shops, 15 restaurants, two department stores, a movie theater, indoor amusement park and five-star hotel.

Citing a survey by a local public relations agency, Windance officials said the complex, with a total floor area of 362,321m2, is the largest of its kind in Asia.

Most of the facilities are open with the exception of the movie theater, amusement park and hotel, which will have to wait until later this year.

NT dollar slips

The NT dollar dipped against the US dollar yesterday, falling NT$0.007 to NT$34.405. Turnover totalled US$260 million.

However, the NT dollar was poised for its first winning week in three after overseas investor purchases of the nation stocks boosted speculation of rising demand for the currency.

Foreign money managers bought NT$7.8 billion (US$227 million) more of stocks than they sold this week through Thursday, according to Bloomberg data.

"Relatively high demand for Taiwan's stocks from overseas investors strengthened the Tai-wan dollar,'' said Gary Huang, a foreign-exchange trader at Union Bank of Taiwan.

Huang correctly forecast a decline in the currency on May 29.

Gains were limited by concern the central bank will sell its currency to protect exporters.

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