Sat, Jul 30, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs


■ TAIEX falls on LCD concerns

Shares ended lower yesterday, dragged down by liquid-crystal-display panel makers amid concern that Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美) would report disappointing earnings. The TAIEX closed down 63.66 points, or 1 percent, to 6,311.98. Chi Mei stock fell 3.7 percent to NT$46.85, while AU Optronics Corp (友達) dropped 2.1 percent to NT$49.75. The world's two largest contract chipmakers, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), also fell as dealers believed there may be a lack of further catalysts to boost the shares after both companies gave their second-half outlook earlier this week. TSMC shed 1.3 percent to NT$53.20. UMC dropped 0.9 percent to NT$22.55.

■ US delegation to visit

A 78-member trade delegation will visit Taiwan beginning tomorrow for three-days, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said in a statement released yesterday. The delegation is on a whirlwind tour of Asia in an effort to attract investment, and will be headed by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, the statement said. Daniels is expected to meet with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥), and business leaders. Taiwan is the first stop on the delegation's nine-day trip, the AIT statement said. Indiana and Taiwan have a robust trade relationship, and Taiwan bought US$99.4 million worth of exports from Indiana last year, according to AIT

■ Uni-President counts on China

Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業), the nation's biggest food company, said China will become its largest market this year, boosted by demand for bottled tea and juice. Sales in China are projected at NT$42 billion (US$1.3 billion) this year, surpassing for the first time those at home, which are expected at NT$41 billion, Uni-President spokesman Simon Hung (洪士民) said. "China's massive population and growing spending power has created a big opportunity for food companies," Hung said. "There are a lot of mouths to feed." Uni-President started selling bottled tea in China this year and plans to start selling drinks mixed with milk or other dairy byproducts there later this year or next, Hung said.

■ THSRC fundraising fails

Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵) said it's failed for a third time since March to find investors for its preferred shares, delaying a fund raising plan. The company, which had been selling NT$5.5 billion (US$172 million) of preferred shares, said it could not complete the sale by the end of this month, as scheduled. "Some investors haven't been able to complete the necessary procedures such as gaining approval from their boards," Ted Chia (賈先德), THSRC assistant vice president, said yesterday. The stake sale is vital in providing funds for the company to finish its NT$462.1 billion project. The 345km project was scheduled to begin service on Oct. 31. The company will discuss with lenders before setting a new sale schedule, Chia said. THSRC signed a syndicated loan of NT$323.3 billion with 25 banks in 2000.

■ NT dollar weakens

The New Taiwan dollar turned weak against its US counterpart Friday, declining NT$0.043 to close at NT$31.996 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$693 million, down from US$711 million the previous day.

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