Thu, Jun 14, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Share prices decline

Shares closed 0.29 percent lower yesterday in rangebound trade with sentiment unable to overcome the substantial retreat on Wall Street overnight, dealers said.

They said adding to the hesitant mood was the upcoming four-day Dragon Boat Festival starting on Saturday.

The TAIEX closed down 23.87 points at 8,346.39, on turnover of NT$130.57 billion (US$3.96 billion).

Decliners led risers 695 to 448, with 198 stocks unchanged.

On the local foreign exchange market, the NT dollar traded NT$0.019 lower to close at NT$33.039 against its US counterpart.

Turnover was US$619 million on the Taipei Forex Inc.

Asustek grants dividend

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), the world's largest motherboard maker, yesterday approved a NT$2 (US$0.06) dividend for last year. The company's shareholder meeting approved the release of a NT$1.5 cash dividend per stock and a 5 percent stock dividend.

Meanwhile, Asustek chairman Johnny Shih (施崇棠) assured shareholders that the spin off of the contract manufacturing business from the own-brand business would be completed by the end of this year, one year earlier than originally planned.

Human resources and finances were the major issues pertaining to the spin off, he added.

To ensure its competitiveness and scale in the contract production segment, Asustek is evaluating the possibility of setting up facilities in Brazil, Vietnam and India, Shih said.

Asustek already has plants in Mexico and the Czech Republic.

THSRC denies report

Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵) said yesterday that its trains were operating normally, dismissing a report in the Chinese-language Apple Daily that vibrations from the high-speed rail had exceeded safe levels.

The report said THSRC's TR01 train produced excessive vibrations last Thursday. The train was sent for maintenance but was not tested before returning to service the next day, the report said, adding that the train's premature return to service had subsequently caused a delay.

THSRC said in a statement that the warning signals sent by the vibration sensors were caused by a transmission problem. The company had instructed the contractor to inspect the sensors and replace those that were malfunctioning, the statement said.

Big Lotto stakes raised

Taiwan Lottery Co (台灣彩券公司) yesterday announced it would raise the stakes for two drawings of the "Big Lotto" (大樂透) in celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival. The firm will increase the first prize by NT$100 million (US$3 million) for the drawings on Tuesday and Friday next week.

In the event that no one wins the jackpot in either draw, the extra sum will be rolled over to the next draw, until the first prize is won, the nation's public welfare lottery operator said.

This is the second time that Taiwan Lottery has raised the stakes for the Big Lotto. The company boosted the prize money by NT$200 million for two drawings held during the Lunar New Year holidays in February.

UMC gains board seats

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world's No.2 contract chipmaker, yesterday had two representatives elected to the board of Epistar Corp (晶元光電).

Honorary UMC chairman Robert Tsaio (曹興誠) and former UMC financial executive Stan Hung (洪嘉聰) will now have a say in the day-to-day running of Epistar, Taiwan's biggest LED chipmaker.

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