Tue, Jul 10, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Stocks jump after US report

Share prices closed sharply higher yesterday, up 1.98 percent in active trade as investors built on last week's gains in light of a supportive US employment report, dealers said.

The market hit fresh seven-year highs and is now running at its best levels since President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) came to power in 2000.

The weighted index added 181.53 points at 9,369.84 off a relative low of 9,239.20 on turnover of NT$227.08 billion (US$6.92 billion).

Powerchip dumps stock

Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), the nation's biggest computer memory chipmaker, yesterday sold 34.8 million shares in local chipmaker Macronix International Co (旺宏電子) after it lost a battle for control of the company.

Powerchip's holding in Macronix dropped to 4.85 percent from 5.34 percent after the sale, through which Powerchip pocketed NT$199 million (US$4.41 million).

Powerchip said earlier that it planned to offload its shares in Macronix, which makes flash memory chips for consumer electronics.

Energy demand up sharply

The nation's demand for energy in May increased by the most in four months because of higher electricity consumption by manufacturers such as Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子).

Energy consumption rose 3.4 percent from a year earlier to the equivalent of 9.64 million kiloliters (60.6 million barrels) of oil in May, the Bureau of Energy said in an e-mailed statement. That was the fastest pace since January.

Industrial production gained 6.4 percent from a year earlier, the most in 10 months, according to a June 25 report by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Electricity consumption by Chi Mei Optoelectronics and other manufacturers increased because of rising export orders, which advanced 11.9 percent in May.

UMC enjoys higher sales

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) said yesterday that its sales rose 6.45 percent to NT$8.75 billion (US$267 million) in June from NT$8.22 billion in May.

The June results, however, were down 0.44 percent year-on-year.

Sales for the first six months of the year fell to NT$48.12 billion from NT$50.13 billion in the same period a year ago, the world's second-largest wafer foundry said.

In the second quarter to June, sales increased to NT$25.10 billion from NT$23.03 billion in the three months to March.

Taipower says save power

State-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) called on the public to achieve greater energy efficiency, saying that average electricity consumption reached a record high at 32.45 million kilowatt-hours between 1pm and 2pm yesterday.

The highest consumption was 32.66 kilowatt-hours at 1:53pm yesterday, Taipower said in a statement.

The high volume of electricity consumption was the result of high temperatures, which peaked at 35oC yesterday, Taipower said.

Electricity consumption may continue to climb to 33 million kilowatt-hours, Taipower said.

To ensure sufficient electricity supply, Taipower has been accelerating the installation of two generators in a power plant in Taoyuan County.

One generator started providing electricity last week, and another is scheduled to be operational in October, Taipower said, adding that the power supply would be stable should no major natural disasters occur.

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