Thu, May 24, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares close up

Shares closed 0.40 percent higher yesterday as investors continued to be encouraged by strong momentum in regional markets, dealers said.

The bourse stayed in positive territory throughout the session, although its upside was capped by profit-taking amid some technical pressure, they said.

The TAIEX closed up 33.16 points at 8,221.79, after trade ranged between 8,214.58 and 8,256.25, on turnover of NT$112.08 billion (US$3.40 billion).

Decliners outnumbered advancers 569 to 538, with 237 stocks unchanged.

On the local foreign exchange market, the New Taiwan dollar continued losing ground against the US dollar, tracking a weak yen.

The New Taiwan dollar declined NT$0.013 to close at NT$33.398, on turnover of US$969 million, Taipei Forex Inc said.

Export orders rise

The nation's export orders rose 11.27 percent from a year earlier to US$27.46 billion last month, which was the second-highest monthly value on record, the Ministry of Economic Affairs' tallies showed yesterday.

The highest on record was US$28.03 billion, registered in March.

During the first four months of this year, export orders grew 12.34 percent from the same period last year to US$103.34 billion, the ministry reported.

The ministry attributed the year-on-year rise to demand for laptops and an increase in the number of outsourcing contracts from international firms.

The ministry expects export orders to show stable growth going forward as a lower local currency, steady economic growth in Europe and Japan, and the demand from newly emerging markets in Asia should offset the negative impact of a slowing US economy.

Industrial output last month increased 2.57 percent from a year earlier, which was the fastest pace since January, the ministry said.

7-Eleven commercial stopped

The Consumers' Foundation (消基會) yesterday urged the National Communications Commission (NCC) to demand that President Chain Store Corp (統一超商) stop a creative TV commercial to avoid misleading children.

In the latest commercial advertising convenience store 7-Eleven's cold noodles, a pop band singer is found by her friends hiding inside a refrigerator eating the popular food.

The foundation said it had received phone calls from parents, expressing worries that their children might try the same at home.

Although the commercial includes a written safety warning, it means nothing to children who are too young to read, the non-profit organization said.

In response, President Chain said it had stopped the controversial commercial after hearing concerns from consumers and would be more careful in the future.

Taxpayers procrastinating

With only one week left to file income tax returns, 70 percent of the nation's taxpayers have yet to complete the dreaded chore, the Taxation Agency said yesterday. As of Tuesday, only 1.5 million people, or 28.8 percent of the nation's 5.2 million single and joint filing taxpayers, had filed their annual tax reports, the agency said.

Among them, 1 million filed online, out-numbering those who chose to visit tax offices.

The agency called on the public to make use of its convenient online service.

To meet demand, tax offices will work extra hours at noon on workdays until next Thursday. Offices will remain closed this Saturday and Sunday.

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