■ Short-selling curbs may ease
Local money reportedly flew into shares of brokerage houses yesterday following a report that stock regulators may consider eliminating the restriction on short-selling below the previous session's closing price. The brokerage house sub-index rose 2.2 percent on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, after a Chinese-language newspaper reported on Sunday that the exchange is proposing to abolish a six-year ban on short-selling, citing the exchange's Chairman Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁). The exchange is drafting a proposal for making the change and will submit it to the Financial Supervisory Commission for approval, the paper said. Wu didn't say when the rule change will take place. The ban, imposed in September 1998 during the East Asian Financial Crisis to prevent the equity market's slump, needs to be lifted because investors lack tools for hedging their risks, the paper said.
■ Sakamoto bullish on chips
Elpida Memory Inc President Yukio Sakamoto said he expects the global semiconductor industry to expand next year, compared with estimates by industry researchers forecasting a slowdown or contraction. "Next year won't be as bad as markets are forecasting,'' Sakamoto said at a news conference in Tokyo. ``It's 100 percent impossible that the chip industry will contract next year -- I see it growing about 10 percent." Elpida raised ¥102 billion (US$968 million) in Japan's fourth-largest initial public offering this year.
■ Bush lauds nation's economy
US President George W. Bush has recognized Taiwan's role in the global trade and economic system, saying the country's financial reforms and high-tech development have created abundant business opportunities for businesspeople from both countries. Bush made the commendation in a congratulatory message read at the opening of an ROC-USA economic conference and modern engineering and technology seminar being held at the Taipei International Convention Center. Douglas Paal, director of the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan, said the US has long been one of Taiwan's most important trading partners. Although the US is no longer Taiwan's top export outlet, it remains Taiwan's second-largest market, and bilateral economic ties have gotten even closer through technology transfers and the formation of joint-venture partnerships.
■ Taiwan and US hold talks
Taiwan and the US held their annual bilateral talks on competition law yesterday in Taipei, officials from the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said yesterday. FTC Vice Chairman Chen Chi-yuan (陳紀元) and Makan Delrahim, vice director of the Anti-trust Division under the US Department of Justice, exchanged experiences on their handling of anti-trust cases at the conference, according to an anonymous FTC official. The FTC official said Taiwan and the US regularly exchange views on competition law because the globalization of trade has made the contents and enforcement of an individual country's competition law a cause of concern of other countries. As close trade partners, the bilateral conference is the fourth of its kind. FTC Chairman Huang Tsung-lo (黃宗樂) went to Washington, D.C. for the conference last year.
■ NT dollar rises
The New Taiwan dollar traded higher against its US counterpart Monday, rising NT$0.188 to close at NT$32.802 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$725 million.