Tue, Feb 03, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Taiwan Cellular, Cathay Financial, lead TAIEX fall


Stocks fell yesterday, led by Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), the nation's largest life insurer, which posted a net loss in the fourth quarter after its lending unit wrote off bad loans.

Taiwan Cellular Corp (台灣大哥大), the nation's largest mobile-phone operator, slipped after its fourth-quarter profit fell 6 percent to NT$3.3 billion (US$99.1 million).

"The latest profit reports will prompt investors to reevaluate their investments and dump companies that handed in poor scorecards," said Fam Hsieh, a fund manager at Grand Cathay Securities Trust Co (大華投信).

The TAIEX shed 55.42, or 0.9 percent, to 6,319.96. About six stocks rose for every five that declined. The Taiwan Futures Index fell 0.8 percent to 6,330.

Cathay Financial posted a net loss of NT$300 million in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of NT$6.64 billion in the fourth quarter of 2002. Cathay United Bank (國泰銀行), the commercial banking arm of Cathay, wrote off NT$6.3 billion worth of bad loans in December. Cathay Financial fell NT$1.50, or 2.7 percent, to NT$53.50.

Taiwan Cellular profit declined in a market where mobile phone subscribers outnumber people. Taiwan Cellular fell NT$1, or 3.1 percent, to NT$31.20.

Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) fell 80 cents, or 3.2 percent, to NT$24.20 after posting a net loss for last year of NT$1.4 billion.

The unaudited figure compares with profit of NT$2.3 billion in 2002. Sales fell to NT$28.4 billion from NT$30 billion.

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