Sun, Aug 19, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WTIH AGENCIES

■ STOCK MARKET

Market value down 9.4%

Taiwan's listed companies' aggregate market value reached NT$20.15 trillion (US$611.8 billion) on Friday, a decline of NT$2.08 trillion or 9.4 percent from NT$22.23 trillion on Aug. 10, the Taiwan Stock Exchange said in a statement on its Web site on Friday. Among the various sectors, the glass and ceramics sub-index showed the largest increase, rising 2.7 percent to NT$65.31 billion this week, the exchange's data showed. Meanwhile, the biotech and medical sub-index posted the largest drop, falling 15.2 percent to NT$72.73 billion. For the week ending on Friday, the benchmark TAIEX dropped 841.02 points or 9.4 percent amid concerns of a global credit crunch would derail economic growth.

■ STOCK MARKET

China issues trading curbs

The Shanghai Stock Exchange said it will suspend trading of shares with unusual price movements as part of its drive to curb speculation and insider trading. Shares of companies that aren't subject to a 10 percent daily cap on the day of trading will be suspended for no more than 30 minutes, if they rise more than 100 percent or drop more than 50 percent from opening prices, effective on Sept. 1, the exchange said yesterday in a statement. China's securities regulator has stepped up a crackdown on excesses in the nation's equity markets, whose benchmark CSI 300 Index has more than doubled this year.

■ INVESTMENT

Berkshire buys rail shares

Legendary investor Warren Buffett's company bought another 1.4 million shares of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp last week to gain control of nearly 12 percent of the US' No. 2 railroad. Berkshire Hathaway Inc revealed its two latest railroad stock purchases in documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission late on Friday. Buffett has said railroads have become an appealing investment because those businesses have a better competitive position today than in past years.

■ BUSINESS

Hawaii most costly US state

Hawaii is the most expensive state in the US, by far, for doing business, a report by the Milken Institute said. It is the third straight year Hawaii ranked No. 1 on the independent economic think tank's annual Cost-Of-Doing Business Index, which measures wages, taxes, electricity costs and real estate costs for industrial and office space. New York (130.9) ranked second, followed by Alaska (130.8) and Massachusetts (130.6), all with costs of doing business about 31 percent above the national average. Hawaii had the highest electricity and industrial space costs and ranked second in tax burden. Wages in the islands, however, ranked 22.

■ TELECOMS

EBay says Skype fixed

EBay Inc has fixed some technical problems that has kept millions of users from logging on to its Skype Internet phone and chat service. "The situation continues to improve," Skype spokesman Villu Arak said on the company's blog. "The sign-on problems have been resolved." Yesterday morning, only about 2.6 million Skype users were online as of 9am London time, compared with "better days" when about 8 million or 9 million users are online, Arak said in an earlier posting on Skype's blog. While users of Luxembourg-based Skype can sign on, other features such as chat and presence "may still take a few more hours to be fully operational," the company's blog stated.

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