Sat, Aug 18, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

MSCI announces index changes

Index compiler Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Barra yesterday announced changes to the MSCI Global Investable Market Value and Growth Indices starting next month.

Global investors usually track MSCI indexes to make necessary adjustments in their investment portfolios.

In its latest quarterly index review, which was revealed in a press release yesterday, MSCI Barra announced no changes of Taiwanese stocks in its index series.

In the Asia-Pacific region, only China's Country Garden Holdings (碧桂園控股) was added into the MSCI index series, while Transmile Group (金鵬集團) from Malaysia will be deleted, the statement said.

Still, after the quarterly index adjustment, Taiwan's weighting decreases to 18.07 percent from 18.16 percent, South Korea's weighting drops to 23.99 percent from 24.16 percent, and China's weighting increases to 19.67 percent from 19.11 percent.

Investments top NT$880m

The nation has attracted 885 investments this year worth NT$881.62 billion (US$26.7 million) as of the end of last month, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a statement yesterday. The figure is 87.59 percent of the NT$1.01 trillion goal for this year, up from NT$903.2 billion last year, the ministry said.

The investments were mainly in the manufacturing industry as usual, the statement said. Foreign investment in high-end manufacturing will especially increase in the future, it said.

The government is also keen to invite foreign enterprises to set up research and development centers to help upgrade local industries. For this year, the ministry plans to approve more than five applications for research and development centers, it said.

The centers, which the ministry expects to carry out more than 60 projects and transfer 30 technologies to local companies, are expected to inject US$500 million in Taiwan, the ministry said.

UMC shuffles vice chairman

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world's second-largest contract chipmaker, yesterday said vice chairman Peter Chang (張崇德) would leave his post as part of a broader restructuring of its management team as it struggles to cope with the challenges of the semiconductor industry.

The Hsinchu-based chipmaker will hire Chang, 61, as a senior consultant after he leaves the job he served for six years.

UMC yesterday promoted executive vice president Sun Shih-wei (孫世偉) to a newly created position, chief operating official,supervising operations at 12-inch chip plants. Vice president Chen Wen-yang (陳文洋) was promoted to senior vice president in charge of 8-inch and 6-inch chip factories.

NT dollar rises

The New Taiwan dollar rose by the most in more than a year on speculation the central bank was buying the currency.

The local currency's advance yesterday erased the week's losses. A weaker NT dollar, down 1.3 percent this year, is boosting inflation and the cost of imported goods.

"It's quite possible there's been some central bank action, as they're trying to keep a lid on it," said Sean Callow, senior foreign-exchange strategist at Westpac Banking Corp in Singapore. "They also don't want the Taiwan dollar simply to be a one-way bet of depreciation."

The NT dollar surged NT$0.197 or 0.6 percent yesterday, the most since June 30 last year. The currency rose 0.1 percent during the week to NT$32.931, according to Taipei Forex Inc.

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