■ Markets up for Sept. quarter
Shares closed 1.05 percent higher yesterday on hopes local companies, particularly technology, and US counterparts will report positive earnings for the September quarter, dealers said.
Traders were also encouraged to test the market's upside as political concerns have eased after the campaign to oust President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) largely ran out of steam, they said.
The TAIEX closed up 74.57 points at 7,151.42, on turnover of NT$112.18 billion (US$3.38 billion).
Risers led decliners 586 to 546, with 139 stocks unchanged.
"Our market continued to move up amid a largely supportive international [trend]," Fubon Securities Investment Services (富邦投顧) manager Daniel Tseng (曾建銓) said.
He said the market proved strong enough to offset profit-taking, which emerged during the session, and so long as the ongoing rotational play in technology bellwethers, non-tech industrials and financials proceeds smoothly, the market is likely to sustain its bullish tone.
■ S&P chosen to calculate index
Polaris International Securities Investment Trust (寶來投信) has chosen Standard & Poor's to calculate a custom index designed to measure the performance of Taiwan-listed companies that derive significant business revenue from China. The China Play 50 Index includes a selection of companies listed in Taiwan that are considered to have a play in China. Each index constituent is assigned a China Play Ratio (CPR), which is established as the ratio of profits attributable to their activities in China over the net income of the company before taxes. The index selection pool is defined as those companies with a significant CPR ratio, according to a statement issued by S&P yesterday.
"The launch of the S&P Custom/Polaris China Play 50 Index is designed to meet investors' growing interest in the economic ties between Taiwan and China," said Tim Eisenhauer, senior director at Standard & Poor's Index Services.
■ New Moody's rep for Taiwan
Moody's Investors Service announced yesterday that it has appointed Tony Tsai (蔡東松) as its new Representative Director for Taiwan, while his predecessor Jerry Chien (簡宗正) has been named Team Managing Director for its Financial Institutions Group in Asia Pacific (ex-Japan).
Tsai is responsible for coordinating Moody's overall business activities and developing its franchise in Taiwan, Moody's said.
Tsai used to serve as director of corporate ratings at Taiwan Ratings Corp (中華信評), a local arm of Standard and Poor's Ratings Services.
Tsai has worked for eight years in credit rating field and has extensive experience in both banking and electronics industries.
He has held senior positions at both Taiwanese firms and multinational financial organizations, including Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), JP Morgan Chase, First Bank of Boston, Deutsche Bank and China Development Industrial Bank (中華開發工銀).
■ Taiwan dollar down on USD
The New Taiwan dollar weakened yesterday against its US counterpart, following an earlier dip in Japanese yen, traders said.
But the local currency was backed by strong foreign capital inflows for local stocks.
The NT dollar fell NT$0.06 to close at NT$33.234 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$805 million.
Foreign fund managers bought a net total of NT$12.01 billion worth of Taiwan stocks, helping send the benchmark index to a five-month high, according to TSE statistics.