Thu, Nov 16, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Stock rise tempered

Shares closed 0.46 percent higher yesterday, but profit-taking trimmed earlier gains triggered by Wall Street's rally overnight on easing concerns over US interest rate hikes, dealers said.

This was especially the case with technology bellwethers, which had taken their lead from gains among their counterparts on the NASDAQ and the Philadelphia Semiconductor index, they said.

The TAIEX closed up 32.81 points at 7,236.85, on turnover of NT$109.53 billion (US$3.34 billion).

Risers led decliners 606 to 528, with 192 stocks unchanged.

■ Gas, diesel prices fall

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化), the nation's second-biggest fuel supplier, lowered gasoline and diesel prices, matching a cut by larger rival Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC, 中油).

Domestic wholesale gasoline prices were cut by NT$0.30 a liter and those for diesel lowered by NT$0.40, Formosa Petrochemical said in a statement yesterday.

State-run CPC earlier yesterday cut prices by the same amount, or as much as 1.8 percent, reflecting falling international crude oil costs.

■ Property hit by politics

Up to 54 percent of people continue to be bearish about the nation's political situation that has had a negative impact on the local housing market, according to a survey released yesterday by Evertrust Rehouse (永慶房屋), the nation's second-biggest real estate agent.

The online survey showed that 51.5 percent of respondents -- down from 57 percent in September -- would think twice before buying a house because of the political unrest.

Similarly, 63 percent of respondents -- up from 50.3 percent -- said that they would hold off on selling property because of a lack of a good offer, the poll showed.

Evertrust Rehouse said the impact on the property sector wrought by political disturbances seemed to be easing, but risk was expected to dent consumer confidence and shadow the housing market in the near future.

The survey interviewed 2,706 respondents between Nov. 8 and Nov. 13.

■ Better drainage for park

The government will invest NT$2.06 billion (US$62.8 million) over the next four years to improve drainage in the Kaohsiung section of the Southern Taiwan Science Park (南部科學園區) to prevent flooding, Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) officials said yesterday.

The officials said the council had recently approved the project proposed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

They said the project would be carried out in two phases, with the first requiring funding of NT$1.43 billion and the second NT$624 million.

■ Prudential names chairman

The Prudential Life Insurance Company of Taiwan (保德信人壽) yesterday announced that president Steven Jin (金段宇) will be promoted to chairman while continuing to double as its president and CEO, according to a company statement. Jin has served as the president and CEO since 2002.

Under his leadership, the insurer has posted stable revenue growth over the past two years at 29 percent and 35 percent.

Its two executive vice presidents, James Lan (藍振富) and Philip Tung (董季華), will also sit on the board, the statement said.

■ NT dollar stays weak

The New Taiwan dollar remained weak against its US counterpart yesterday, declining NT$0.048 to close at NT$32.813 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

Turnover was US$999 million.

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