Fri, Mar 31, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Stocks rise on US tech rally

Shares rose yesterday, led by gains in the technology sector after an overnight rally in the US. The TAIEX rose 48.03 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,543.06, on turnover of NT$107.20 billion (US$3.3 billion). Taiwan Semiconductor Manu-facturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world's largest contract chipmaker by revenue, rose 1.6 percent to NT$62.9, while rival United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) gained 1 percent to NT$19.9. Computer company Acer Inc fell 6.1 percent to NT$61.5, reaching its lowest close since Sept. 16, after the company posted worse-than-expected results for the fourth quarter late on Wednesday. The firm said its fourth-quarter operating profit was NT$2.27 billion (US$69.8 million) on revenue of NT$104.18 billion.

■ Chunghwa Telecom's profit falls

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), Taiwan's largest phone company, had a 10.4 percent decline in revised fourth-quarter profit. Net income at the Taipei-based company dropped to NT$9.5 billion (US$292 million), the company said in a statement yesterday. That compares with NT$10.6 billion profit a year earlier. Sales last year rose 0.4 percent to NT$183.4 billion from 2004, the statement said. Profit last year fell 4.4 percent to NT$47.7 billion, revised from NT$46.2 billion announced on Jan. 26, the statement said. During a conference with investors yesterday, the company revised downward its subscriber number for third-generation mobile phone service to 800,000 people by the end of this year, down from its previous target of 1 million people.

■ New chairman recommended

The Ministry of Finance is attempting to appoint Lin Cheng-i (林誠一), acting chairman of the International Commercial Bank of China (ICBC, 中國國際商銀), as the new chairman of China Development Financial Holding Co (中華開發金控) after the government's original candidate turned down the offer on Tuesday night, according to a source close to Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌). The source said that Minister of Finance Joseph Lyu (呂桔誠) had personally recommended Tsai to Su yesterday evening. The Presidential Office is also reported to be aware of the choice, the source said. Tsai, who serves on the board of directors at China Development Financial, is expected to be elected the new chairman at a board meeting scheduled to be held at 4pm today. The selection of Tsai is not meant to counterbalance the influence of the Koo family, which controls seven of the 21 seats on the board at China Development Financial, but to protect the interests of shareholders and comply with the principles of corporate governance, the source said.

■ Cabinet to aid industry upgrades

Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (陳瑞隆) said yesterday the government would release a plan to help conventional industries upgrade capabilities and enhance competitiveness, thereby enabling them to compete more effectively with similar products from China and other countries. The project includes aid in the form of providing business expertise, personnel training and the upgrade of manufacturing techniques, Chen said at the Legislative Yuan. Chen said the ministry's Industrial Development Bureau is responsible for identifying industries at risk and will propose a plan to assist them.

■ NT dollar moves up

The New Taiwan dollar gained ground against its US counterpart yesterday, rising NT$0.061 to close at NT$32.537 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$817 million.

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