Thu, Oct 23, 2003 - Page 11 News List

TSMC leads TAIEX down on stock-option proposal

BLOOMBERG

Stocks fell for a second day yesterday. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) led declines after the company said it planned to give NT$8 billion (US$235 million) worth of stock options to its workers.

The TAIEX shed 19.60, or 0.3 percent, to 6,041.86. Almost the same number of stocks rose as fell. The futures index shed 0.4 percent to 6,051. About 5.2 billion shares changed hands, 24 percent above the daily average in the past three months.

TSMC dropped NT$1, or 1.5 percent, to NT$66. It plans to grant the stock options as a bonus, TSMC spokesman Tseng Jin-hao (曾晉皓) said in a phone interview.

TSMC on Tuesday hired Merrill Lynch & Co and Goldman Sachs Group Inc to help sell shares worth as much as US$1.14 billion that are currently held by Royal Philips Electronics NV.

"Taiwan Semiconductor's plans to grant stock options and sell shares overseas will create a massive influx of shares in the market," said Yu Reming, a fund manager at Prudential Securities Investment Trust Co (保誠投信).

Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) fell as much as 0.7 percent before closing unchanged at NT$45.10 after it sold US$573 million of shares overseas at a 4 percent discount to the stock's closing price on Tuesday.

Compeq Manufacturing Co (華通電子) fell NT$0.50, or 2.8 percent, to NT$17.60 after it said it is "reviewing" its loss forecast for this year after the Central News Agency reported it may widen its losses for the year. Compeq declined to comment on the report, saying the company had a NT$2.9 billion loss in the first nine months, compared with the NT$1.9 billion full-year net loss it projected for the year.

Taiwan Life Insurance Co (台灣人壽) gained NT$3, or 6.3 percent, to NT$51.

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