■ Local shares close higher
Shares closed 0.54 percent higher yesterday as the continued appreciation in the Chinese yuan boosted local companies with exposure to Chinese markets, dealers said.
They said investor interest in such firms offset concerns over the fall in US chip giant Intel's share price overnight after its net profit plunged 39 percent in the fourth quarter.
The TAIEX was up 41.90 points at 7,833.98, on turnover of NT$102.01 billion (US$3.11 billion).
Risers led decliners 698 to 495, with 186 stocks unchanged.
■ Hsinchu International to delist
Hsinchu International Bank (新竹商銀) is to delist from the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE), with effect from today, according to a statement released yesterday by Standard Chartered Bank.
"Hsinchu Bank's shares will no longer be traded on the TSE. This means there will no longer be a TSE-regulated market for trading in Hsinchu International shares," the statement read.
Standard Chartered said it would purchase all remaining Hsinchu International shares during a 50-day period from today to March 8 at the price of NT$24.5 per share.
Standard Chartered currently holds approximately 96.4 percent of Hsinchu International shares following a successful tender offer in October last year and subsequent purchase of Hsinchu International shares in the open market, it said.
The TSE announced on Dec. 29 that it had granted approval for the delisting of Hsinchu International shares.
■ Cross-strait trade rises 18.2%
China's annual trade with Taiwan rose 18.2 percent last year to US$107.8 billion last year, the Chinese Cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office said yesterday.
Taiwanese companies invested US$2.14 billion in China last year, the office's spokesman Yang Yi (楊毅) said.
China's imports from Taiwan rose 16.6 percent to US$87.1 billion, while exports to the nation were up 25.3 percent at US$20.7 billion, Yang said at a news conference.
The government says Taiwanese companies have invested more than US$100 billion in China since the early 1990s, setting up factories to produce goods ranging from computer chips to umbrellas.
■ Vibo to buy 52% of Trust Inc
Vibo Telecom Inc (威寶電信), the nation's only pure third-generation (3G) mobile service provider, said yesterday that it planned to buy 52 percent of Trust Inc (台灣優勢客服) for NT$75 million (US$2.29 million) to boost subscribers.
The investment would also give Vibo a foothold in the growing business process outsourcing market, where Trust Inc offers market survey and consultancy to customers in telecom, banking and other industries, Vibo said in a statement.
The new Trust Inc would boost its capital to NT$145 million, according to the statement. Vibo has 350,000 subscribers.
■ FSC signs MOU with British body
The Financial Supervisory Commission said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Britain's Financial Service Authority on cooperation in financial supervision, information exchanges and assistance in probes into financial irregularities.
It is the first time the Cabinet-level commission has forged cooperative ties with a similar foreign financial supervisory body, the commission said on Tuesday.
Under the terms of the accord, the two sides will strengthen cooperation in financial supervision and investigations into suspected financial irregularities or crimes, it said.
■ NT dollar closes lower
The New Taiwan dollar lost ground against its US counterpart Wednesday, declining NT$0.017 to close at NT$32.792.
Turnover was US$910 million.
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PLANNED OUT: The government is lifting sale and export restrictions on 60% of the 20 million masks made daily, but people can still make purchases using their NHI cards Twenty thousand boxes of 50 masks each would be on sale at FamilyMart convenience stores starting tomorrow, Taiwan FamilyMart Co Ltd (全家便利商店) said yesterday. A box of 50 masks would cost NT$249 for those with FamilyMart memberships and NT$299 for those without, with no limits placed on how many boxes a person can buy, the company said. Convenience store chain operator Hi-Life International Co Ltd (萊爾富) said that it would also start selling masks from tomorrow. It has yet to announce details about prices and quantity. Hypermarket chain operator Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福) said that it would start selling packs of five