■ TAIEX gains 0.98 percent
Shares closed 0.98 percent higher yesterday in expanded trade as investors took a lead from gains on Wall Street overnight, following the release of robust US consumer data, dealers said.
The upside, however, was capped by caution ahead of a string of holidays for the Lunar New Year later this month, they said.
The TAIEX closed up 75.49 points at 7,777.03, on turnover of NT$87.02 billion (US$2.64 billion).
Risers led decliners 820 to 372, with 202 stocks unchanged.
For the week to yesterday, the weighted index closed down 44.29 points or 0.57 percent after a 0.24 percent fall a week earlier.
Average daily turnover stood at NT$83.83 billion, after NT$113.98 billion.
The market will be closed from Feb. 15 to Feb. 23 for the Lunar New Year.
■ Shin Kong Bank in Vietnam
The Financial Supervisory Commission on Thursday approved an application by Shin Kong Commercial Bank (新光銀行) to set up a liaison office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, which would be the bank's first in a foreign country, commission officials said.
Considering that 75 percent of Taiwanese businessmen investing in Vietnam are in Ho Chi Minh City and nearby cities, the bank decided to set up a liaison office there to collect business information and provide them with advisory services, they said.
To date, other Taiwanese banks have established seven branch offices, 10 liaison offices and one subsidiary bank in Vietnam, they added.
■ Quanta shipments soar
Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), the world's largest contract maker of notebook computers by shipments, shipped a record 2 million notebook computers last month, the company's president said yesterday.
It was the first time in Quanta's 19-year history that its notebook shipments exceeded 2 million units for one month, Michael Wang (王震華) said.
The company's unconsolidated revenue last month rose more than 50 percent from a year earlier to NT$50.27 billion (US$1.51 billion) amid strong demand from clients ahead of Microsoft Corp's launch of the Vista operating system, he said.
"We expect the strong growth momentum to continue in the rest of the year," he said.
Quanta's unconsolidated revenue could exceed NT$500 billion this year, compared with NT$461.5 billion last year, Wang said.
■ China Steel sales surge
China Steel Corp (中鋼), Taiwan's largest steelmaker, said last month's sales surged 38 percent to NT$16.5 billion (US$502 million).
Pretax profit was NT$5.19 billion last month, the Kaohsiung-based company said in an e-mail statement. The company in January last year reported sales of NT$11.9 billion.
■ NT ends five-week loss
The New Taiwan dollar posted a weekly gain, ending five weeks of losses, as strength in Japan's yen and South Korea's won eased concern that the nation's central bank would sell its currency to maintain export competitiveness.
"The Taiwan dollar has really been driven by the stronger yen and that's the swing factor right now for it," said Tim Condon, an economist at ING Bank NV in Singapore. "We're optimistic on Taiwan and the currency can go a bit stronger."
The NT dollar rose 0.1 percent this week to close at NT$32.916 against the US currency, Taipei Forex Inc said.
The currency may climb to NT$32 in the next few months, Condon said.