Fri, May 26, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

Money supply increases

The nation’s money supply growth picked up last month as bank lending and investment rose and stock market trading increased.

M2, the broadest measure of money supply, rose 6.5 percent from a year ago after gaining 6.2 percent in March, the central bank said in a statement yesterday.

M1A, which tracks net currency in circulation plus checking accounts and passbook deposits, expanded 4.8 percent last month after increasing 4.2 percent in March, the central bank said.

M1B, which excludes time deposits and foreign-currency deposits included in M2, rose 5.5 percent last month after expanding 4.3 percent the previous month.

NT dollar declines

The NT dollar slid for a second day after the yen fell to a more than two-week low late in New York, fueling speculation the nation’s central bank will sell its currency to keep exports competitive. Foreign investor outflows also continued to weigh on the currency yesterday.

The NT dollar slipped NT$0.1 to NT$32.112 against its US counterpart on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$764 million.

“The Taiwan dollar is following the yen," said Gary Huang, a currency trader at Union Bank of Taiwan. There’s concern over the yen going a little lower.

Net selling of the nation’s stocks by foreign institutional investors totalled NT$8.52 billion (US$265 million) yesterday, according to Taiwan Stock Exchange data.

Common currency discussed

Central bank chiefs and finance ministers from Asian countries yesterday discussed the prospects for creating a common regional currency framework, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a statement.

The idea of a single currency for Asia and of integrating the region’s economies came about after the financial crisis of 1997-1998 and has been backed by Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda who attended today’s meeting. A common Asian currency may, however, take years to develop.

“There’s a sense that a common currency, whilst useful, is not likely to be realizable for a very long time to come,” Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s education minister and deputy central bank chairman, told a press conference after the seminar.

“Let’s let the process evolve,” he said.

Dell to make PCs in India

Dell Inc will start manufacturing in India by the end of the year to help it cut prices and increase market share in India, the company’s second-fastest growing market in Asia.

Dell, which plans to decide the location of the India plant in the next few weeks, expects the factory to help it reach the top spot in sales in India from its current fourth position, Rajan Anandan, vice president and general manager at Dell’s India unit, said in New Delhi yesterday.

Dell’s 5 percent market share in India in the year ended March 31 trailed the 18 percent of Hewlett-Packard Co., the 14 percent of India’s HCL Infosystems Ltd and Lenovo Group Ltd’s (聯想) 8 percent, the Indian unit of IDC said.

Dell ships its computers to Indian customers from its manufacturing unit in Malaysia. The computer maker expects to cut shipment time from 15 days to two from the date the order is placed once it starts local manufacturing, Anandan said.

The company is in talks with several Indian states for incentives such as tax breaks and power and water facilities, as it scouts for a location for its first manufacturing plant in India, Chairman Michael Dell said last Saturday.

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