Asian stocks rose this week, led by companies that rely on global growth such as JFE Holdings Inc and Halla Climate Control Corp, after US and regional economic reports lifted optimism about the prospects for profit. \n"Next year will see synchronized global growth for the first time since 2000," said Geoff Lewis, financial services manager in Hong Kong at JF Asset Management Ltd, a unit of JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management Inc with US$520 billion in assets. "The US recovery looks assured, with both Japan and Asia benefiting from increased exports to the US and China." \nThe MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which tracks more than 800 stocks in the region, rose 0.6 percent to 84.09, its third weekly gain in four. The index is on course for its first annual advance in four years. \nBoth Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average and the Topix index rose for the fourth week in five, adding 1.3 percent and 1 percent, respectively. South Korea's Kospi index advanced 0.6 percent, its second weekly gain, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.6 percent. \nBenchmarks in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong all declined for the week. \nChina Life Insurance Co, which raised US$3 billion in this year's biggest initial public offering, soared 26 percent in the two trading days since its debut in Hong Kong on Thursday after investors ordered more than US$80 billion of the stock. \nIn the US, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 1.4 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 2.4 percent. Both indexes gained for a fourth straight week. The NASDAQ Composite Index rose 0.1 percent for the week. \nJFE, Japan's biggest steelmaker by market value, jumped 11 percent to ?2,750. Nippon Seisen Co, which makes stainless steel wire, surged 14 percent to ?295. The Topix Iron and Steel Index rose 4.1 percent this week. \nAustralia's WMC Resources Ltd, the world's third-largest nickel miner, added 6.9 percent to A$5.38 this week. Pacific Metals Ltd, Japan's second-biggest nickel producer, advanced 11 percent to ?549. \nNickel, which is used to make stainless steel, soared 10 percent this week and is trading at a 14-year high. Prices may continue to gain through 2005, Inco Ltd, the world's No. 2 producer, said this month. Global economic growth, rising use of the metal in China and mine production that hasn't kept pace with demand may boost prices further, it said. \nMeanwhile, an index of manufacturing in the Philadelphia area climbed to its highest level in a decade this month, while the index of leading US economic indicators rose last month. \nAmericans filing first-time applications for state jobless benefits fell to 353,000 last week, matching an almost three year low, the Labor Department said. Economists expected 365,000 claims, according to a Bloomberg News survey. \nIn Hong Kong, the jobless rate fell to 7.5 percent last month from 8 percent in October, the government said Thursday. \nThat's the lowest since March and less than the 7.8 percent median forecast of 11 economists in a Bloomberg survey. \nSouth Korea's Halla Climate, a maker of automotive air conditioner parts for DaimlerChrysler AG, Ford Motor Co and Mazda Motor Corp, climbed 9 percent this week to 105,500 won, its highest in seven years. \nToyota Motor Corp, the world's third-largest automaker, added 2.3 percent to ?3,640 for the week, pacing a gain in Asian carmakers. Toyota has raised its vehicle sales forecasts in North America, Europe and Japan, saying all annual earnings numbers will be at record levels. \nHyundai Motor Co, South Korea's largest automaker, which gets more than a half of its sales overseas, climbed 1.4 percent to 49,900 won this week. Honda Motor Co, Japan's No. 2 automaker, climbed 3.3 percent to ?4,680 for the week. \n"It's easier to bet on automakers because of their great performance in the US and Europe," said Youichi Yanai, who oversees the equivalent of US$28 billion as chief fund manager at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd. "This is one sector which has shown decent profit growth so far, and remains competitive." \nChina Life's shares surged 25 percent to HK$4.575 from an offer price of HK$3.625. Investors ordered more than US$80 billion of stock, bankers involved said earlier. Its American depositary receipts advanced 27 percent in New York trading on Friday. Each ADR is equal to 40 shares. \nThe company, the first Chinese insurer to trade its shares in the US, sold 6.47 billion shares last week, raising money to strengthen its capital. \n"There's some value in buying something that has a dominant market position in a very high growth country like China," Glenn Henricksen, who runs CIF Consultants in Hong Kong, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
BAD RAP: The exchange said Tatung had seriously breached shareholders’ rights and failed to give a satisfactory explanation of its board election dispute Tatung Co (大同) shares yesterday plunged by the maximum daily limit of 10 percent to NT$18.90, the lowest in three months, after the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) on Tuesday evening changed the company’s classification to a full-delivery stock effective tomorrow. The TWSE’s move follows the company’s failure to give a clear and satisfactory explanation of why it deprived dozens of shareholders of their voting rights during a board election at the annual shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday morning. Under the exchange’s regulations, investors are not allowed to engage in margin trading of a full-delivery stock, TWSE spokeswoman Rebecca Chen (陳麗卿) told
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in