Fri, Aug 18, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Shares slightly up

Share prices closed up 0.55 percent yesterday as political concerns offset an early rally driven by Wall Street's overnight gains amid tame US inflation data, dealers said.

The TAIEX closed up 36.83 points at 6,733.46, on turnover of NT$118.86 billion (US$3.63 billion).

"Large-cap stocks managed further gains, suggesting increased interest from foreign investors amid a firming local currency," said Samson Chueh, an assistant vice president with Fuhwa Securities Corp (復華證券).

While bellwether technology stocks followed the direction set by their counterparts in the US, some sectors which had been lagging behind the broader market, such as tourism, staged a recovery, he said.

Decliners outnumbered gainers 518 to 507, with 129 stocks unchanged.

■ CPC hikes gas price

State-run Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC, 中油) announced yesterday that it would hike the prices of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by an average of 15 percent due to rising import costs, effective today.

After the adjustment, industrial natural gas will be NT$13.0366 per cubic meter for mixed LNG mixed, including CPC's product and an imported one, or NT$14.5014 for imported LNG, according to a company statement.

The prices for LNG retailers are NT$12.15 and NT$13.52 per cubic meter. LNG for cogeneration will be NT$12.0980 NT$13.4573 per cubic meter. Prices of LNG for generating electricity range from NT$11.1719 to NT$13.0339 per cubic meter, depending on the season, according to CPC.

■ Lenovo poaches Dell staff

Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), the world's third-largest manufacturer of personal computers, hired two executives from Dell Inc to head the company's operations in Asia and Japan.

David Miller, who headed the China business of Dell, the world's largest PC maker, was named president of Lenovo Asia, the Chinese company said yesterday in a statement. Sotaro Amano, former corporate director of Japan sales for Dell, will be president of Lenovo Japan Ltd.

■ Customs seizes fake goods

Customs agents have seized counterfeit fashion items and pirated video games in recent months worth a combined NT$20 million, a spokesman for the Taipei Customs Bureau under the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.

According to the spokesman, customs agents seized 1,713 items of fake brand-name products, including leather goods, sunglasses and clothes since customs agents began stepping up inspections of international express delivery packages in June. The pirated products had a market value of NT$11 million, he said.

A total of 6,800 fake Sony video game disks were nabbed by Taipei Customs Bureau agents on Monday -- the second seizure of its kind after 1,626 bootleg X-Box video game disks were seized, the spokesman said, noting that the two seizures were worth more than NT$10 million.

■ Biometric USB drive launched

SanDisk Corp yesterday launched SanDisk Cruzer Profile, a portable, high-speed USB flash drive with finger identification technology embedded in the device to ensure data security to local users, a company statement said.

Through a built-in biometric fingerprint scanner, data stored in the product can be accessed with the swipe of fingerprints of designated users, the statement said.

■ NT remains firm

The New Taiwan dollar maintained strength against its US counterpart, rising NT$0.122 to close at NT$32.627 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$967 million.

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