Wed, Nov 09, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Shares down slightly

Shares dropped marginally yesterday as investors sold shares to book profits from last week's gains.

The TAIEX fell 10.76 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,849.63.

Trading value dropped to NT$52.91 billion (US$1.56 billion) from NT$54.5 billion on Monday.

"The decrease in trading value signals that the market is contracting, and that there was no strong buying interest," Daiwa Securities trader David Li said.

The index fell 0.9 percent on Monday after a 4.9 percent rise over the previous week.

■ Analyst bullish on Q4 exports

Helped by a weaker local currency, exports in the fourth quarter will improve and the situation will continue into the first quarter of the next year, an economist predicted yesterday.

Taiwan registered a trade surplus of US$1.54 billion for last month, a single-month high since November 2003, the Ministry of Finance reported on Monday.

Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫), a department director under the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (台經院), said he was confident that outbound shipments will rebound in the October-December period now that various negative elements in the previous months have disappeared, such as soaring oil prices, a rising New Taiwan dollar and imports of heavy machinery.

Kung forecast that the Q4 trade surplus would exceed the US$3 billion mark and that this positive situation will continue into early next year.

■ Non-tradeables promoted

Taiwan should develop the non-tradeable goods sector that consists mainly of the knowledge-based economy and the services industry to attract foreign investment, which has seen a significant decline over the past four years, a local economist said yesterday.

Data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Investment Commission shows that foreign direct investment (FDI) has slid from US$7.6 billion in 2000 to US$3.95 billion last year.

According to Wu Hsiao-hui (吳曉慧), an assistant research fellow at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, non-tradeable goods refer to commodities or services that cannot be easily imported from abroad, such as laws and regulations, government services, public order, environment, infrastructure, the water and power supply and transportation.

Also included are industries serving domestic demand, such as the domestic tourism industry and caregiving, which upgrade the quality of life of locals and provide a large number of job opportunities, Wu said.

■ Trade center opens in Spain

The Taiwan World Trade Center in Barcelona is scheduled to open on Friday, with Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會) chairman Hsu Chih-jen (許志仁) presiding over the ceremony, an official from Taiwan's representative office in Madrid said on Monday.

Two-way Taiwan-Spain trade totaled over US$1.34 billion last year, up by 19.7 percent over the 2003 figure. Taiwanese exports to Spain grew by 20.9 percent year on year to US$970 million last year, while imports from Spain expanded by 16.6 percent to US$370 million, according to Chen Ming-shih (陳銘師), a section chief at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Madrid.

Bilateral trade has been rising this year, with the figure hitting US$1.147 billion for the first nine months of this year, he reported.

■ NT falls further

The New Taiwan dollar continued losing ground against the greenback yesterday, declining NT$0.026 to close at NT$33.716 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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