Show sets attendance record
The Taipei Computer Applications Show ended yesterday after seeing a record 600,000 visitors over its five-day run. That was almost double the number of visitors last year and exceeded the organizers' target of 400,000, co-organizer Taipei Computer Association (TCA, 台北市電腦公會) said.
The show attracted 320,000 visitors last year. The increase in visitors could be attributed to the decision to allow free entry to the show this year, officials said.
Farglory Land launches IPO
Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) made its debut on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday at an initial offering price (IPO) of NT$71. The shares rallied to NT$71.5 in early trading, but ended the day down NT$0.4 to NT$70.60.
Farglory shares were previously traded on the over-the-counter GRETAI Securities Market.
Despite the unimpressive first day performance, Farglory chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) said he was confident that the firm's shares will surpass Shining Building Business Co (鄉林建設) as one of the highest priced construction stocks in one or two years.
Shares of Shining edged up 1.83 percent to NT$111 yesterday.
Local insurers hurt by US woes
Taiwan's insurers and Singaporean banks have been the main victim of the recent US sub-prime mortgage crisis, Citigroup said in the report released yesterday.
The sell-off of Asian financial companies is overdone as the impact of US subprime asset-quality problems and falling prices of structured products should be manageable -- unless there is a broader re-pricing of collateralized debt obligation risk and credit spreads that results in significant loss for even the highest grade investments, Citigroup said.
Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) and Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) and Singapore's DBS have most exposed with US$1 billion, US$600 million and US$850 million of such investments, the report said.
Assuming a potential loss ratio of 20 percent for the entire portfolio, losses would be equivalent to 7 percent, 1.5 percent and 2 percent of their book values, which remains manageable and not material, Citigroup said.
Chunghwa eyes Vietnam deal
Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) and its Vietnamese counterpart, Viettel, will establish a joint venture to explore the Internet data service market in Vietnam, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported yesterday.
The report said Chunghwa Telecom has been looking at investing in Vietnam for about a year, hoping to make inroads abroad in the face of a saturated telecoms market at home.
Chunghwa Telecom expects to expand the business of the new company beyond the planned Internet data services in the future, it said, without naming sources.
The telecom declined to comment on the report.
Taiwan Mobile rating raised
The research investment firm Macquarie yesterday upgraded Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), from "underperform" to "outperform," citing improving margins after the firm merged with Taiwan Fixed Networks (TFN, 台灣固網).
The consolidation of TFN will help the nation's No. 2 phone company boost its EBITDA by 10 percent year-on-year this year, but the outlook for the core wireless business looks a little tougher in the second half of the year, Macquarie said in a report yesterday.
Taiwan Mobile's failure to secure a WiMAX license was hurting the stock, but the impact was minor on a one-year view and this presents an attractive opportunity, Macquarie said.