Sat, Dec 23, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Focus

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

TAIEX closes up

Shares closed 0.41 percent higher yesterday as fund managers spruced up portfolios ahead of year's end, with expectations of increased foreign capital inflows providing support, dealers said.

However, volume was light because of the holiday.

The TAIEX rose 31.53 points at 7,652.47, on turnover of NT$86.97 billion (US$2.68 billion). Risers led decliners 595 to 535, while 199 stocks were unchanged.

For the week to yesterday, the weighted index closed up 113.65 points or 1.51 percent after a 1.28 percent fall a week earlier.

Average daily turnover stood at NT$104.78 billion, compared with NT$108.43 billion a week ago.

The Taiwan stock market will remain open on Monday but trade is expected to be sluggish as most overseas bourses will be closed on Christmas Day.

Bonds planned for first quarter

The government plans to issue bonds of a maximum of NT$115 billion (US$3.5 billion) in the first quarter of next year, according to a press statement released by the Ministry of Finance yesterday.

Next month, five-year bonds worth NT$40 billion will be issued. Twenty-year bonds worth between NT$30 billion and NT$35 billion will be sold in February. In March, the government will issue 10-year bonds of NT$40 billion.

Tsai Ching-nain (蔡慶年), director general of the finance ministry's National Treasury Agency, said earlier that the government plans to issue bonds worth a total of NT$360 billion next year, with some of this dedicated to debt management.

China investment increases

The government approved US$6.4 billion in China-bound investment in the first 11 months of this year, marking a 13.8 percent growth year-on-year, according to tallies released yesterday by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

A total of 983 China-bound investment projects were approved during the 11-month period, the MOEA statistics showed.

Last month alone, the MOEA's Investment Commission approved 104 China-bound investment projects worth US$510.97 million.

With China-bound investment getting bigger in scale, Vice Economic Affairs Minister Shih Yen-hsiang (施顏祥) said the amount would continue to increase.

If two companies -- ProMOS Technologies Inc (茂德) and Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光) -- whose China-bound investment projects have received initial government approval, can finalize paperwork in time, Shih said the total amount of this year's China-bound investments would break the US$6.94 billion single-year record set in 2004.

ProMOS has applied to relocate a wafer plant to China while ASE intends to take over China's Global Advanced Packaging Technology.

Land Bank granted HK license

The Hong Kong Monetary Author-ity yesterday announced that it had granted a banking license to the Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行) on Thursday. The third-largest bank in Taiwan, the Land Bank is owned fully by the Taiwanese government. It ranked 174th among world banks in terms of assets, according to a July survey by the Banker Magazine. It has maintained a representative office in Hong Kong since 1999. The license allows the bank to offer consumer banking services, including operating current and savings accounts and accepting deposits of any size and maturity from customers.

NT dollar down

The New Taiwan dollar traded lower against its US counterpart yesterday, declining NT$0.012 to close at NT$32.565 on the Taipei Forex Inc.

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