Tue, Nov 25, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

Investors like arts stock

Tittot (琉園), the nation's first arts stock, which was listed as an over-the-counter company on the Taiwan Stock Exchange last Friday, continued to be sought after by investors yesterday with its price surging to the ceiling of NT$18.20. Tittot, a manufacturer of crystal and glass objects founded by artist Heinrich Wang (王俠軍), is now maintaining 60 distribution points worldwide, with a second production line in Shanghai to open shortly. The maker of glass artifacts is aiming to post an annual turnover of NT$297 million (US$8.73 million) this year, up 6.5 percent over last year. The company is predicting a pre-tax annual profit of NT$30 million, a 1.2-times increase over the previous year, a corporate spokesperson said. As of the end of last month, business turnover this year was NT$212 million, or 71.3 percent of the targeted annual turnover, while pre-tax profit totaled NT$23 million, representing 76.7 percent of the year's targeted profit.

Lottery odds to improve

The Ministry of Finance yesterday announced that winning numbers for the first prize in the bimonthly Uniform-Invoice Lottery (統一發票) will be increased from three sets to four sets for the months of September and October, and to five sets for this month and next month. The chance of winning will increase from 0.3 percent to 0.4 percent for the earlier period and to 0.5 percent for the later one. Winning numbers will be drawn on Nov. 25 and on Jan. 25. "The government's coffers can afford to reward more winners of the invoice-lottery, which aims to encourage shoppers to ask for invoices while shopping," said Nelson Yu (游能淵), deputy director-general of the Taxation Department, at a press conference yesterday afternoon. Those who match all eight digits of any winning number will receive NT$200,000 while smaller amounts, down to NT$200, will be awarded to those who match only the last three digits.

Consumer confidence slips

Consumer confidence fell this month from last month as uncertainty about the nation's presidential election in March appeared to surface, the Taiwan Research Institute (台綜院) said in a report released yesterday. The private think tank put its Consumer Confidence Index at 83.84 for this month, down from last month's 85.4. That compares with 71.25 in June of last year. The institute's indexes gauging expectations for the next six months include consumer prices, disposable income, employment and financial investment. The institute said the indexes showed mixed results, but the momentum of economic recovery is still strong.

Acer to outsell HP in Europe

Acer Inc is poised to surpass US rival Hewlett-Packard Co as the biggest seller of notebook computers in Europe in the fourth quarter amid a surge in demand, an Acer executive said yesterday. Acer has also been more successful than the competition in Europe in getting components -- such as displays -- that have been in short supply in the three-month period, said Gianfranco Lanci, co-head of the firm's international operations business group. ``For this quarter, we have a very good chance to be No. 1,'' Lanci said, who didn't provide sales figures. HP is Acer's biggest rival. The US' Dell Inc is ranked No. 3 in Europe, Lanci said.

NT$ slips against greenback

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday fell against its US counterpart, declining NT$0.025 to close at NT$34.070 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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