Wed, Aug 30, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Relief sends stocks up

Share prices closed 0.55 percent higher yesterday on a technical rebound supported by Wall Street's overnight gains which offset domestic political concerns over moves to oust President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), dealers said.

The weighted index rose 35.15 points at 6,479.91, after trading narrowly between 6,460.67 and 6,500.89, on turnover of NT$51.83 billion (US$1.58 billion).

President Securities Corp (統一證券) manager Johnny Lee attributed yesterday's recovery to a technical rebound spurred by a firmer Wall Street and lower oil prices.

"The announcement on the date to kick off the sit-in protest allowed investors to take a breather, as there will be no major protests" until early next month, he said.

■ Trade with China up 15%

Trade between Taiwan and China for the first six months of the year rose 15 percent from a year earlier to US$41 billion, the Board of Foreign Trade said yesterday.

The figure accounted for 20.1 percent of the nation's total external trade during the period, compared with 19.4 percent a year earlier, it said, citing statistics compiled by Taiwan and Hong Kong, where most of the goods are transshipped.

For the January-June period, Taiwan registered a trade surplus with China of US$18.11 billion, up 10.5 percent as exports rose 13.6 percent to US$29.56 billion and imports were up 18.9 percent at US$11.45 billion.

■ China Steel profits halved

China Steel Corp (中鋼), the nation's largest steelmaker, had a 58 percent decline in first-half profits after prices of the metal dropped.

Net income totaled NT$13.9 billion, the Kaohsiung-based company said in an e-mail statement yesterday. That compared with NT$32.8 billion a year earlier, according to Taiwan Stock Exchange data. Sales fell 19 percent to NT$80 billion, according to monthly filings.

■ Central bank denies liquidity

The central bank said it had "appropriate control" over its currency reserves, denying speculation that it had excessive liquidity.

"The central bank has appropriate control over liquidity," the central bank said in a statement yesterday. "Reports saying Taiwan has huge excess reserves are groundless." Excess reserves in the past seven months averaged NT$6 billion, the statement said. Money supply growth was "moderate" and averaged 6.51 percent in the same period, it said.

■ Bonus shares now an expense

Starting from Jan. 1, 2008, listed companies will be required to account for bonus shares given to employees as compensation as an expense in their financial books, the Financial Supervisory Commission said.

The new accounting rule is designed to better conform to international accounting standards and practice.

The closing share price one day prior to the annual general meeting is used as the benchmark price of bonus shares given to employees, according to the new rule.

Meanwhile, the price of stock options given to staff shall not be lower than the closing share price on the transfer day.

If a firm distributes its buyback shares to employees as compensation, the price tag cannot be less than the average buyback cost per share, the commission said.

However, exceptions can be made to the regulatory floor price when using stock options or buyback shares as compensation to employees, as long as the shareholders meeting approves, it said.

■ NT dollar rises

The New Taiwan dollar gained on the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, advancing NT$0.038 to close at NT$32.880 on turnover of US$656 million.

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