Thu, Feb 03, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs 

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Tech sector boosts TAIEX

Shares ended higher yesterday on renewed hopes that the technology sector will recover faster than expected and on strong buying from foreign investors.

The TAIEX finished 37.15 points higher, or 0.6 percent, at 6,018.69. Trading volume was strong at NT$93.7 billion (US$2.95 billion). Advancers edged decliners 382 to 379, while 223 issues ended the day unchanged.

The technology shares-led rally was partly triggered by a bullish outlook by Siliconware Precision Industries (矽品) late Tuesday, analysts said. Siliconware Precision, a chip testing and packaging service provider, ended up 6.7 percent to NT$27. The company said demand is expected to bottom out in the second quarter, and the second half of the year will be better than the first half.

Possible changes in the US Federal Reserve's interest-rate policy, to be released overnight, will likely exert selling pressure on global stocks too, analysts said.

Shares of flat panel display makers were strong early after Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) gave a stable outlook on Tuesday for the first quarter. But the sector soon succumbed to profit-taking.

Shinsei eyes Changhwa stake

Shinsei Bank, the first Japanese lender acquired by foreign investors, may buy a 40 percent stake in Changhwa Bank (彰化銀行), the Financial Times reported, citing people close to the transaction it didn't identify.

A group comprising US-based buyout firm Carlyle Group Ltd and ING Groep NV, the biggest Dutch financial services company, is also among the frontrunners, the report said. US-based Cerberus Capital Management Ltd and Lone Star Funds have also put in initial bids for the bank, the paper said.

The sale marks the first time a Taiwanese bank would come under control of an overseas buyer, the FT said.

The overseas investors are bidding to buy 1.4 billion new shares, or a 20 percent stake in Changhwa, through an offering of global depository receipts. The government will then sell its total shareholdings of slightly more than 20 percent in the bank to the winning bidder, with the sale expected to be completed before the end of the year, the FT said.

Morals boost bonuses

The morality of employees has become the leading indicator when bosses evaluate the size of their year-end bonuses, according to a survey released by the human resource agency 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行) yesterday.

More than 76 percent of respondents said ethics weighs heavily compared with workers' experience and performances.

The report also found that 71 percent of employees plan to change jobs after the Lunar New Year holidays, citing dissatisfaction with salaries, unbearable pressure at work and restricted prospects for their companies.

The average year-end bonus amounts to 1.78 times of employees' monthly salaries, with the financial sector topping the list to give up to 10 months, according to the survey.

Economic policy criticized

Businesses dissatisfied with the government's economic policy rose to a record 63 percent, the highest in a year, a Chinese-language newspaper reported yesterday, citing a poll it conducted.

The main sources of discontent are the government's policies on opening direct transport links with China and easing political tensions with Beijing, the newspaper said.

About 17 percent of the respondents said they were satisfied with economic policy, the report said.

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