Wed, Jan 05, 2005 - Page 11 News List

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Shares close lower

Shares ended lower yesterday after falls on Wall Street overnight and on profit-taking in the technology sector, analysts said.

The TAIEX closed 82.66 points, or 1.4 percent, lower at 6,060.46.

Dealings were valued at NT$58.34 billion (US$1.83 billion). Decliners well outnumbered advancers 639 to 116, while 122 issues ended the day unchanged.

Dealers said foreign investors, who have large holdings in the tech sector, led the sell-off, followed by domestic institutional investors in the afternoon.

One of the biggest tech decliners yesterday was Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), whose stocks ended 5.2 percent lower at NT$138.

Shares in Taiwan's airlines went against the trend to rise on renewed hopes of direct flights between selected cities in China and Taiwan during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Eva Airways Corp (長榮) rose 1.3 percent to NT$15.9, while China Airlines (華航) closed flat at NT$18.4.

Hon Hai declines to detail IPO

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), Taiwan's largest electronics maker by sales, said details of the initial sale of shares in its mobile-phone unit, Foxconnwilson International Holdings (富士康), will be decided after the marketing effort is finished.

The company still needs to complete a marketing campaign to sell the shares, Hon Hai spokesman Edmund Ding (丁祈安) said in a telephone interview, responding to a Hong Kong Standard report that the initial offering would raise as much as HK$5 billion (US$642.8 million). No dollar amount has been set for the sale, Ding said.

The Lunar New Year holiday, which starts in the second week of next month, may impede plans for the sale, Ding said. He declined to comment on marketing plans for the handset unit.

The Hon Hai unit's shares may be sold in Hong Kong by the end of the month, the newspaper said. Foxconn plans to spend at least 60 percent of the proceeds of the sale to build five new plants, including one in Mexico and one in Hungary, the Standard said.

Tatung laptops in Wal-Mart

Tatung Co (大同) is selling laptop computers under its brand name for the first time in US outlets run by Wal-Mart Stores Inc, according to the world's largest discount retailer's Web site.

The Web site shows three Tatung laptop models for prices ranging from US$1,271 to US$998.

Tatung is trying to build its brand name in the US after gaining more recognition in the market from sales of its flat-panel televisions.

Tatung, Taiwan's fourth-largest electronics maker, on Dec. 23 cut its 2004 profit forecast after subsidiary Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (中華映管) pared its outlook for net income, citing a decline in industry prices.

NT dollar closes slightly up

The New Taiwan dollar pared losses on speculation some exporters took advantage of a slide in the currency to convert their overseas earnings.

The local currency closed NT$0.001 higher to end at NT$31.846 against the US dollar in Taipei, after dropping as much as 0.2 percent to NT$31.912.

Turnover was US$604 million, down from US$838 million the previous day.

"It appears there were quite a lot of exporter purchases of NT dollars above NT$31.85 today," said Gary Huang, a currency trader in Taipei at Union Bank of Taiwan (聯邦銀行).

"Exporters believe that's an acceptable level" to buy the local currency, he said.

The NT dollar may trade between NT$31.70 and NT$32 this month, Huang said.

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