Sat, Jan 27, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs


■ TAIEX closes the week lower

Shares closed 1.29 percent lower yesterday as sentiment was undermined by a slump on Wall Street overnight while blue-chip Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) undermined the key technology sector following its lackluster first-quarter guidance, dealers said.

The TAIEX lost 102.45 points at 7,821.32, on turnover of NT$97.65 billion (US$2.97 billion).

Decliners outnumbered gainers 811 to 371, with 199 stocks unchanged.

For the week to yesterday, the weighted index closed down 18.76 points or 0.24 percent after a 1.01 percent gain a week earlier.

Average daily turnover stood at NT$113.98 billion, compared with NT$111.12 billion.

■ Union Insurance downgraded

Fitch Ratings yesterday downgraded Union Insurance Co's (友聯產險) national insurer financial strength (IFS) rating to "BB+(twn)" from "A(twn)" and its international IFS rating to "B+" from "BBB-", following its latest disclosure on its losses from affiliated loans and receivables.

According to figures provided by Union Insurance, additional write-offs of NT$4.8 billion (US$145.7 million) will be booked, leading to a substantially weaker capital position.

Fitch said the property insurer's level of risk-adjusted capitalization will potentially fall below the minimum regulatory requirement.

Fitch also changed the Rating Watch on the ratings to Evolving from Negative on news that Union Insurance had signed a memorandum of understanding with US-based private equity firm TPG Newbridge Capital, relating to a possible acquisition of a controlling stake in the insurer.

■ New Taishin president named

Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控) announced on Thursday night that chief economist Lin Keh-hsiao (林克孝) will serve as the firm's president, pending the Financial Supervisory Commission's approval. Lin is to fill the vacancy left by Julius Chen (陳淮舟), who left late last year to act as Chang Hwa Commercial Bank's (彰化銀行) president.

Taishin Financial is the largest shareholder in the state-controlled Chang Hwa, with a 25.5 percent stake and eight of 15 board members, while the government holds an 18 percent stake and has four seats on the board.

■ Aurora Telecom fined

The Fair Trade Commission yesterday fined Aurora Telecom Corp (震旦電信), the nation's first mobile carrier operated on a rented network, NT$80,000 (US$2,430) for fraudulent advertising. In June last year, Aurora ran commercials and newspaper advertisements claiming that its services required zero monthly rental payments during users' lifetimes. However, it failed to disclose important restrictions for this preferential package.

The commission said the advertising misled consumers and demanded that Aurora halt the commercials immediately.

■ Hotai cuts China investment

Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), the nation's largest automaker, yesterday announced it had cut an investment in a venture in China. It slashed half of its initial capital to US$3 million for a new firm which will offer car sales and maintenance services, it said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

■ NT dollar remains weak

The New Taiwan dollar remained weak against its US counterpart yesterday due to a weakened yen, foreign fund outflows and short-covering for the greenback, traders said.

The NT dollar closed NT$0.089 lower at NT$32.938 against the US dollar in Taipei, on a turnover of US$937 million.

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