■ Trading limits to relax
The Financial Supervisory Commission yesterday said it would relax the daily limits on stock trading in September as planned. The commission said it will complete a draft of supporting measures relevant to the trading-limit change in August before submitting the draft to the Cabinet for final decision, the commission said in a statement. The regulator made the remark after a local Chinese-language newspaper reported that the government would postpone the relaxation after China passed the controversial "anti-secession" law on Monday which might trigger volatility in local stock market. The commission planned to widen the daily trading band to rise, or fall 15 percent from current 7 percent in September. "We are stick to the policy and carefully drawing supporting measures to better the market's development and stability," the regulator said in a statement released yesterday.
■ Bonds fall on report
The nation's 10-year bonds fell for the first day in three after a Chinese-language newspaper reported the government may raise the limit on how much insurance companies can invest overseas. The government may allow insurers to invest 50 percent of their assets abroad, versus 35 percent now, the Taipei-based newspaper said, citing unidentified officials. "Everybody sold government bonds today on concern about life insurers," said Alex Kuo, trader at MasterLink Securities Corp in Taipei. "If they are allowed to invest more overseas, buying in 10-year debt and longer will be gone." The benchmark 2.25 percent bond maturing March 2015 fell 0.0555, or NT$55.50 per NT$100,000 face amount, to 99.3377 as of 1:52pm in Taipei, according to Gretai Securities Market (櫃台買賣中心), the nation's over-the-counter market. Its yield rose 1 basis point to 2.33 percent. The 10-year yield may climb to 2.40 percent this week, Kuo said.
■ Samsung, TSMC beat growth
Samsung Electronics Co and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) were among four companies in the world's top 10 chipmakers to beat industry sales growth last year, according to market researcher IC Insights. Samsung of South Korea, Texas Instruments Inc of the US, Infineon Technologies AG of Germany and TSMC had sales growth that exceeded the 28 percent average increase for the world's chipmakers last year, Scottsdale, Arizona-based researcher IC Insights said in a statement today. Global industry growth was led by Asian companies, IC Insights said. The five chipmakers with the highest sales increase in 2004 are all based in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, IC Insights said. Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體) of Hsinchu, Taiwan, led growth with a 158 percent gain followed by Elpida Memory Inc of Tokyo with 124 percent.
■ Lite-On eyeing parts maker
Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) may buy an electronic parts maker to broaden its product line and to widen its profit margin, a Chinese-language business daily reported, without saying where it obtained the information. The Taipei-based company has about NT$26 billion (US$843 million) cash for a possible purchase, the newspaper said. Lite-On won't rule out the possibility of a hostile takeover, the report said.
■ NT dollar dips
The New Taiwan dollar continued to trade lower against its US counterpart yesterday, declining NT$0.168 to close at NT$31.000 on the Taipei exchange market. Turnover was US$1.03 billion, up from US$723 million Monday.