Stocks up 0.85 percent
Taiwan share prices closed 0.85 percent higher yesterday, propelled by a record closing on Wall Street on Friday and subsequent gains in regional markets, dealers said.
They said bellwether technology stocks attracted foreign investor interest following gains in US peers.
The weighted index closed up 67.79 points at 8,010.46, after moving between 8,006.42 and 8,062.70, on turnover of NT$101.85 billion (US$3.07 billion).
Fubon Securities (富邦證券) senior vice president Frank Lin said the highest-ever showing on Wall Street triggered a chain reaction in the region.
"Wall Street's record-high performance persuaded investors in major markets across the region -- including Taiwan -- to move in the same direction," he said.
"Foreign investors apparently took a positive approach, buying into some technology stocks here after advances were registered by US technology plays," Lin said.
But concerns over the possibility of economic measures taken by the Chinese government after upbeat economic growth in the first quarter as well as concerns on local corporate leads prevented investors from chasing prices much higher.
Firich shares up by daily limit
Shares of Firich Enterprises Co (伍豐科技), a Taipei-based point-of-sale system manufacturer, surged at the 7 percent daily limit to close at NT$558 on the GRETAI Securities Market (櫃台買賣中心) yesterday, the highest among all publicly listed companies.
Firich took over solar cell maker E-ton Solar Tech Co (益通光能) to reach the top position. Shares of E-ton declined 2.46 percent to NT$555 yesterday.
Firich saw after-tax earnings jump by 190 percent to NT$645 million, or 12.02 per share, last year. Its board decided last week to issue a cash dividend of NT$9.26, the highest the company ever issued.
For the first quarter of the year, Firich saw sales surge by 99.91 percent to NT$820.03 million.
Mortgage lending under control
Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Hu Sheng-cheng (胡勝正) said yesterday that housing mortgage lending remained under control in comparison with consumer abuse of credit and cash cards in previous years.
The aggregate value of housing mortgage plus loans to developers was NT$5.25 trillion -- or 27.5 percent of the total amount of deposit balance and financial debts -- close to the regulatory 30 percent cap.
The commission's Examination Bureau will start inspection of banks on mortgage lending next month to prevent a possible crunch, Hu said. A few banks have approached the upper limit, he added.
Hu made the remarks while addressing the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce (工商協進會) yesterday.
Exports ban to be announced
To stabilize domestic supply of sand and gravel and for the protection of natural resources, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday it would soon announce a ban on exports of the two items.
The ban will become effective two months after the announcement, the ministry said in a statement, without giving a specific date.
The supply of sand and gravel from Jan. 1 to April 15 was 17.39 million cubic meters while demand was 17.89 million cubic meters, the ministry said. The shortage was filled by previous stocks, it said.
NT drops against US dollar
The New Taiwan dollar lost ground against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, declining NT$0.029 to close at NT$33.166.
A total of US$1.019 billion changed hands during the day's trading.
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