Wed, Feb 02, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs 

AGENCIES

TAIEX dips on profit-taking

Stocks ended slightly lower yesterday, as some investors took profits following gains in the previous session.

The TAIEX closed down 12.69 points, or 0.21 percent, at 5,981.54. Decliners outnumbered advancers 595 to 220, while 166 issues ended unchanged.

Analysts said some investors believed the market's 1.9 percent rise on Monday was overdone. They said investors also were wary of taking positions ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

The Taiwan Stock Exchange will be closed from Friday, with trading to resume on Feb. 14.

H-Share ceiling raised

Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission doubled the maximum amount that the nation's funds are allowed to invest in Hong Kong's H-shares and red chips to 10 percent of their assets, to give the funds more flexibility in overseas investments.

The commission made the change because the weightings of H-shares and red chips in the MSCI and FTSE indexes have changed, the regulator said in a statement on its Web site, without elaborating.

H-shares are China incorporated companies listed in Hong Kong. Red chips are China-backed companies incorporated in Hong Kong.

The commission said on Jan. 19 that it plans to attract more overseas companies to sell stock on the nation's exchange by improving listing guidelines in the next six months.

The move is part of a plan to double capital raising by foreign investors to NT$35 billion (US$1.1 billion) in 2008 from NT$17.5 billion at the end of 2003.

Chinatrust sets 2005 goal

Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) is aiming to make NT$22 billion (US$693 million) in profit this year with an increased contribution from business in China, a local Chinese-language newspaper said, citing chairman Jeffrey Koo (辜濂松).

The nation's sixth-biggest financial services company yesterday posted profit of NT$15.4 billion for last year, citing unaudited figures.

The company may buy a stake in a Chinese rival if the government eases regulations, the newspaper reported.

Net income for last year fell short of Chinatrust's forecast of NT$17.2 billion, Chinatrust said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, without giving any reasons. Chinatrust posted earning per share of NT$2.60 for last year, it said.

Job openings increase

Each job seeker had an average of 1.7 work opportunities last year, up from 1.6 opportunities in 2003, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) reported on Monday.

According to DGBAS officials, companies registered about 897,000 jobs with the government's employment service agencies for the whole of last year, an increase of 24.4 percentage points over the 2003 level, for a total of 539,000 job seekers, a rise of 19.9 percent year to year.

Of all the nearly 540,000 job seekers, senior-high school graduates accounted for the largest portion of 228,000, while around 367,000 jobs out of the nearly 900,000 offered were provided for job seekers with a high school education, DGBAS statistics show.

At the same time, a total of 234,000 certificates were issued by the government to skilled workers last year, a passing rate of 57.1 percent, reflecting an annual rise of 2.2 percentage points.

NT dollar slips

The New Taiwan dollar traded lower against its US counterpart yesterday, declining NT$0.08 to NT$31.798 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$659 million.

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