■ TAIEX up 5.59 points
Share prices closed flat yesterday as profit-taking eroded early gains made on the back of Wall Street's overnight rally, dealers said.
They said year-end window-dressing activities continued to support the local bourse while there appeared to be no immediate impact from the strong earthquake that struck Taiwan on Tuesday evening.
Although some complaints were voiced about difficulties accessing the Internet, dealers said trade was largely unaffected.
The TAIEX closed up 5.59 points at 7,733.18, on turnover of NT$107.51 billion (US$3.29 billion). Decliners led gainers 654 to 516, with 185 stocks unchanged.
■ Gas prices lowered
Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑), the nation's second-biggest fuel supplier, lowered gasoline prices for the second time this month, matching a move by rival Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油).
Domestic wholesale gasoline prices fell by NT$0.10 a liter, effective 9am, Mailiao-based Formosa Petrochemical said in a statement yesterday on its Web site.
■ Biomedical park under way
A biomedical park within Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區) will be inaugurated in January 2008, officials from the Science Park Administration said yesterday.
Administration officials said the infrastructure for the biomedical park was currently being put in place, adding that the work was scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.
The park will mainly serve companies in the medical equipment and manufacturing sectors.
An international vaccine producer and a pharmaceutical protein manufacturer have contacted the administration about setting up plants in the park.
■ Fubon not to buy stakes
Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) are not in talks to buy stakes in Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控), a Chinatrust executive said yesterday, denying a media report.
"Again it's newspaper speculation," Chinatrust executive vice president Jason Wang (王正新) said in a telephone interview.
The Economic Daily News reported that Goldman might join with Fubon to buy part of Chinatrust, but did not cite any source.
Fubon also denied the report.
"There is no such talk, and Goldman didn't approach Fubon," Fubon president Victor Kung (龔天行) said in a phone interview.
Kung said that Fubon had bought some financial shares because of the improving profit outlook for banks. He didn't specify what stocks Fubon had purchased.
■ Evergreen promotes president
Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運), operator of Asia's largest container shipping line, will promote president Arnold Wang (王龍雄) to chairman, replacing Chang Kuo-cheng (張國政).
Starting on Monday, Chang will become the first vice chairman of the Evergreen Group, parent of the shipping company, the group said in a statement on Tuesday.
Chang will answer to his father Chang Yung-fa (張榮發), chairman and founder of the Taipei-based group, which controls EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空), the country's second-biggest air carrier. Other interests of the group include hotels and a symphony orchestra.
■ NT dollar down
The NT dollar traded lower against its US counterpart yesterday, declining NT$0.049 to close at NT$32.699 on the Taipei Forex Inc.
Traders said the NT dollar didn't follow gains of other Asian currencies because the trading system was not stable after Tuesday's earthquakes.
Turnover was US$585 million, up from US$476 million the previous day.
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