Tue, Jul 24, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Taiwanese equities rise to a new seven-year high

AFP, BLOOMBERG

Taiwan's stocks rose to the highest close in seven years as overseas investors poured more money into the nation's shares.

"Except for Japan, most Asian markets refused to bow to Wall Street today," SinoPac Securities Corp's (永豐金證券) assistant vice president Alvin Teng (鄧可欣) said, referring to heavy losses on Friday in New York after disappointing results.

The considerable gains posted by mainland Chinese markets were especially significant after Friday's interest rate hike announcement, he said.

"China continues to boast a very strong economy and is now channelling funds to places like Hong Kong," he said. "So long as China and Hong Kong continue to lead the way, the regional equity upswing is set to remain a convincing story."

The TAIEX index climbed 35.67 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 9,621.57, its highest since April 2000. About three stocks advanced for every two that fell. Futures due in August added 4 points to 9,549.

Overseas investors bought net NT$10.5 billion (US$321.35 million) worth of Taiwanese stocks, according to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

"Taiwan stocks are being fueled by waves of funds as investors chase Taiwanese companies that offer growth potential," said Ashley Kang, who helps manage US$1.5 billion at IBT Asset Management Co (台灣工銀投信).

Equity funds earmarked to invest in Taiwan received $175.1 million between July 12 and July 18, the second highest new foreign money inflow in Asia, Citigroup Inc wrote in a report, citing EPFR Global figures. UBS AG last week raised its 12-month estimate for the Taiex to 12,000 from 10,000, citing improving corporate earnings.

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), the world's biggest computer-services company, last week posted second-quarter sales that beat analysts estimates and raised its earnings forecast for this year. Taiwanese electronic-related makers, which account for more than half of the TAIEX's weighting, make products for clients such as Apple Inc and IBM.

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