Tue, Jan 04, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs 

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares end higher

Stocks ended marginally higher yesterday with profit-taking in technology shares offsetting gains in financial and old-economy stocks, traders said.

The TAIEX closed 3.43 points, or 0.1 percent, higher at 6,143.12.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 429 to 317, with 134 issues settling unchanged.

The textile subindex gained 2.6 percent, petrochemical shares rose 1.3 percent, and the financial subindex added 0.1 percent.

However, technology shares -- whose weighting accounts for about half the main index -- offset those gains by falling by 0.1 percent.

Harvey Chang, fund manager at United Securities Investment Trust (統一投信), said flat-screen panel shares fell on profit-taking after strong gains in the last few weeks of last year.

"The sell-off on flat-screen makers today wasn't driven by specific news in the industry," Chang said. "It's due to investors taking profits."

GRETAI Reuters launch product

The Gretai Securities Market, the nation's over-the-counter exchange, yesterday announced a partnership with Reuters to unveil the Taiwan Government Bond Indices, the exchange said in a statement.

This was the second time the exchange has chosen Reuters to launch a bond index product. Last year, the two collaborated in the launch of the 10-year Government Bond Benchmark Index.

Gretai Securities Chairman Lee Yung-san (李庸三) said the purpose of launching the new bond index was aligned to all international standards.

"The Taiwan Government Bond Indices are built to serve as the key performance indicators for the government bond sector with the aim to increase the bond market's capitalization and strengthen the foundation of Taiwan's bond market to prepare for globalization," Lee said.

Asustek enters car electronics

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), the world's largest motherboard maker, aims to start making electronic parts for cars this year as growth in the company's mainstay computer business slows, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.

The company will work with overseas and local automobile makers to design semiconductors and control systems for cars, the report said.

Asustek is following Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the first electronics manufacturer in Taiwan to shift production into the automobile industry.

Evergreen Marine optimistic

Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運) forecast profit and sales to increase by at least 10 percent this year because of strong customer demand, a Chinese-language business daily reported, citing Chairman Chang Kuo-cheng (張國政).

Customers that need to ship consumer goods in the US and Europe have reserved space on Evergreen's ships for the full year at high prices, the newspaper said, without giving details.

Evergreen Marine on Nov. 5 raised its profit forecast for last year by 54 percent to NT$11.53 billion (US$364 million).

NT dollar moves up

The New Taiwan dollar gained after the TAIEX rose for a fifth session, increasing the appeal of local assets.

Overseas fund managers bought a net US$113 million yesterday, according to the Taiwan Stock Exchange data.

The local currency rose NT$0.072, or 0.2 percent, to close at NT$31.845 against its US counterpart on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$838 million, down from last Friday's US$1.189 billion.

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