Sat, Sep 23, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

Shares change little

Share prices closed little changed yesterday as initial losses driven by Wall Street's overnight weakness were offset by rotational interest, dealers said.

Bellwether technology stocks lost ground in line with their US counterparts but some laggard "China Concept" companies gained on the back of an appreciating yuan.

The TAIEX lost 4.29 points at 6,885.60, on turnover of NT$64.38 billion (US$1.96 billion).

Declines led gainers 527 to 505, with 204 stocks unchanged.

For the week to yesterday, the weighted index closed up 204.51 points or 3.06 percent after a 0.18 percent increase a week earlier.

Average daily turnover stood at NT$84.34 billion, compared with NT$67.61 billion previously.

Chunghwa to tout shares

State-run Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) is scheduled to launch a road show next week in New York and London to facilitate its overseas share sale, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.

The telecommunications operator will sell 505.39 million shares in the form of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) abroad and 120 million shares to domestic investors, which in total represents a 7 percent share in Chunghwa Telecom, Deputy Minister of Finance Liu Teng-cheng (劉燈城) said.

After the share sale, the government's stock holding in Chunghwa Telecom will reduce to 34 percent from 41 percent to inject over NT$40 billion (US$1.21 billion) into state coffers, he added.

Robot growth predicted

The research and development of artificial intelligence robots could help the total output value of Taiwan's machinery industry top NT$1 trillion (US$30.4 billion) by 2009, with an annual growth rate of no less than 30 percent before 2012, the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) said yesterday.

The IDB also predicted that by 2016, A.I. robot manufacture alone could generate an output value of NT$250 billion and an export value of NT$175 billion, as well as contribute at least 1.35 percent to Taiwan's GDP, adding that 22,000 jobs could be created.

Moreover, the IDB estimated that the global production value of the robot industry could exceed that of the automobile sector worldwide by 2020, reaching some US$1.4 trillion.

Compared with Japan and South Korea, which have set the research and development of "housekeeping robots" as their key objective, the IDB said Taiwan would instead focus on "security robots," which they noted was the best choice based on the world-class capacity of Taiwan's opto-electronics, precision machinery, and information electronics.

Solarworld wins local order

Solarworld AG, Germany's second-largest solar-energy company, won an order worth 180 million euros (US$230 million) to supply solar-cell materials to customers in Taiwan and South Korea, adding to its Asian contracts.

Solarworld will supply solar wafers, slices of silicon used to make solar cells, until 2018, the Bonn-based company said yesterday in a statement. The order comes on top of a 350 million euro order in China that the company announced on Monday.

"The up-and-coming Asian states possess the highest growth solar markets in the world," chief executive officer Frank Asbeck said in the statement.

"High-tech products from Germany are very much in demand in China, South Korea and Taiwan," he said.

NT dollar weaker

The New Taiwan dollar weakened against its US counterpart yesterday, declining NT$0.045 to close at NT$32.940 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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