Sat, Jun 16, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Stocks at new seven-year high

Shares closed up 1.45 percent yesterday, striking another near seven-year high on Wall Street where US economic data alleviated concerns over possible interest rate hikes, dealers said.

They said insurance companies led the market higher on expectations of an improvement in earnings after a statutory revision, which should allow them greater exposure to overseas investments.

The TAIEX closed up 122.92 points at 8,573.64, the highest closing level since July 18, 2000, when the index hit 8,582.75 points.

The market moved in a range between 8,511.07 and 8,578.33 points on turnover of NT$151.73 billion (US$4.58 billion).

For the week to yesterday, the weighted index closed up 272.93 points or 3.29 percent after a 0.62 percent gain the previous week.

Average daily turnover stood at NT$141.34 billion, compared with NT$135.15 billion a week ago.

Capitalization up 22.3%

Market capitalization of Taiwan's listed and over-the-counter (OTC) stocks stood at NT$22.33 trillion (US$675.75 billion) at the end of last month, up 22.3 percent from the same period last year, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) reported yesterday.

DGBAS officials said that thanks to a booming stock market, the weighted index, the barometer of the stock market, increased to 8,144.95 at the end of last month, up 1,298 points year-on-year.

The market capitalization of the listed stocks totaled NT$20.16 trillion, up 20.4 percent year-on-year, while the stocks traded amounted to NT$10.52 trillion, down 3.6 percent from the same period last year.

The index measuring value of over-the-counter stocks rose to 181 last month, up 39 points from the same period last year. The number of over-the-counter shares also increased to 533 with a market capitalization totaling NT$2.17 trillion and shares traded amounting to NT$3.11 trillion.

NCC allows tainted merger

The nation's telecom regulator yesterday approved a merger between local fixed-line company Asia Pacific Broadband Telecom Co (APBT, 亞太固網) and its mobile affiliate Asia Pacific Broadband Wireless Communications Inc (APBW, 亞太行動寬頻), the National Communications Commission (NCC) said on its Web site.

Deutsche Bank expressed disappointment at the decision. The German bank, APBT's credit bank, opposed the merger after the debt-ridden APBT failed to pay interest on a NT$6.8 billion bank loan arranged last year with APBW's assets as guarantee.

"Deutsche Bank and the lenders are deeply disappointed with the NCC decision and will continue to seek recovery of APBW's unpaid debts through the courts," it said in a statement released yesterday.

The NCC said the merger would not affect in any way the interests of the Germany lender.

CD-ROM tax expires

The EU will terminate its anti-dumping tax on Taiwanese-made CD-ROMs this month when a five-year EU anti-dumping tax program expires, officials from the Bureau of Foreign Trade said on Thursday.

The European Commission said recently that the anti-dumping tax on imports of Taiwanese CD-ROMS, imposed on June 18, 2002, would not be extended when the program expires on Monday, bureau officials said.

Over the past five years, the European Commission has imposed anti-dumping taxes, ranging from 17.7 percent to 38.5 percent, on Taiwanese CD-ROMs.

The commission began a fresh probe into CDs from Taiwan in March, but received no inquiries nor complaints from any EU firms about the imports, prompting the commission to bring the measure to an end, bureau officials said.

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