Sat, Jan 22, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs 

STAFF REPORTER, WITH AGENCIES

TAIEX drops 0.67 percent

Share prices closed 0.67 percent lower yesterday after further losses on Wall Street overnight and caution ahead of an expected Cabinet reshuffle, dealers said.

The Cabinet is set to resign en masse by Feb. 1 in a formal move as newly-elected lawmakers take office after elections last month.

The TAIEX closed down 39.19 points at 5,848.91, on turnover of NT$46.08 billion (US$1.45 billion).

Decliners led gainers 581 to 157, with 203 stocks unchanged.

The index is expected to consolidate next week amid concerns over corporate results and a lack of fresh leads, dealers said, adding that there were no signs that foreign funds were returning to the market.

For the week to yesterday, the TAIEX lost 40.61 points or 0.69 percent, following a 0.78 percent fall the previous week.

Average daily turnover totalled NT$52.91 billion after NT$52.34 billion the previous week.

Ritek raises US$115 million

Ritek Corp (錸德), the world's second-largest maker of recordable discs, raised US$115 million overseas selling bonds convertible to shares to finance raw materials purchases and to pay debt.

Market leader CMC Magnetics Corp (中環) and Ritek faced excess supply and falling disc prices last year because of overinvestment in production, Ritek chief executive Gordon Yeh (葉垂錦) said in an interview on Sept. 24 last year.

Intel cuts customer list

Intel Corp pared its list of customers here after changing its organizational structure to focus on its biggest computer clients in this country, a Taipei-based business daily reported, citing company executives.

Distributors such as Synnex Technology International Corp (聯強國際) will take over the sales accounts of companies removed from Intel's list, the newspaper reported, citing Stanley Huang (黃逸松), Intel Asia Pacific's director of marketing and technical services.

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), Gigabyte Technology Co (技嘉科技), Micro-Star International Co (微星科技) and Elitegroup Computer Systems Co (精英電腦), which remain on Intel's list, will get better prices and information on new products from Intel than the smaller rivals that will have to deal with distributors, the paper reported.

Petrochemical profits increase

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) said unaudited net income for last year was NT$50.2 billion (US$1.6 billion).

The figure beat the forecast of NT$38.4 billion the company announced last October, it said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

The company's profit for last year more than doubled from NT$18.9 billion posted in 2003, according to exchange Web site.

Separately, Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行), the nation's sixth-largest bank by assets, had a 13-fold increase in fourth-quarter profit.

Net income for the three months ended Dec. 31 was NT$456 million, compared with NT$36 million a year earlier.

For last year, the bank had unaudited net income of NT$1.3 billion. That was down 54 percent from NT$2.9 billion posted in 2003, according to the company.

NT dollar keeps sliding

The New Taiwan dollar continued losing ground against its US counterpart yesterday, closing NT$0.038 lower at NT$31.913 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

Turnover was US$410 million, down from US$683 million on Thursday.

The local currency may rise to NT$30 by the end of 2005, a 6 percent gain from the NT$31.917 level on Dec. 31, Morgan Stanley currency strategist Stephen Jen said in a report.

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