Sat, Jun 12, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Stocks slump for third day; Chi Mei, AU Optronics drop

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Stocks dropped for a third day yesterday. AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the nation's largest maker of flat-panel displays used in computers and TVs, fell after it was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" by Deutsche Bank AG.

"AU was downgraded because flat-panel display prices were seen falling," said Charles Chen, who manages the equivalent of US$150 million at JF Asset Management Co in Taipei.

"I am now slightly underweight toward neutral on Taiwan stocks," Chen said.

The TAIEX fell 132.44, or 2.3 percent, to 5,735.07. It lost 4.2 percent in the past three days, paring its gain this week to 0.2 percent. About seven shares fell for every one that rose. TAIEX futures for June delivery shed 2.1 percent to 5,715.

AU Optronics slumped 5.6 percent to NT$51. Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子), the nation's second-largest maker of flat-panel displays, fell 4.6 percent to NT$52.

Overseas investors sold a net NT$5.6 billion (US$168.4 million) of Taiwanese stocks yesterday, ending three days of net buying, according to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Some banking shares rose after the Financial Restructuring Fund (金融重建基金), a NT$140 billion fund set up in 2001 to help banks clean up bad loans and dispose of failed lenders, won legislative approval to operate for one more year.

Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), the country's largest credit-card issuer, rose 0.8 percent to NT$36.90.

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), the nation's fifth-largest financial services company by assets, rose 0.3 percent to NT$31.30.

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