Thu, Nov 01, 2007 - Page 11 News List

BUSSINESS BRIEFS

Staff writer, with agencies

Shares lower on Fed fears

Shares closed 0.48 percent lower yesterday as some investors sold stocks ahead of an impending US Federal Reserve decision on interest rates, dealers said.

Technology firms such as Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) rose after reporting solid earnings and an upbeat outlook, but they failed to lift the market as a whole, they said.

The TAIEX closed down 46.56 points at 9,711.37. Turnover was NT$184.93 billion (US$5.71 billion).

Decliners led risers 1,374 to 694, with 225 stocks unchanged. A total of 19 stocks closed limit-down and nine limit-up.

"There was a general sense of uncertainty about where the Fed rate might be headed," said Alvin Teng (鄧可欣), assistant vice president at SinoPac Securities (永豐金證券).

SPIL reports record earnings

Siliconware Precision Industries Co (SPIL, 矽品), the nation's second-largest chip packaging and testing service provider, yesterday reported record high earnings for the third quarter on resilient demand.

Net income grew 61 percent year-on-year to NT$5.06 billion, or NT$1.66 per share, from NT$3.14 billion, or NT$1.08 a share, in the same period last year.

SPIL chairman Lin Wen-po (林文伯) said revenues may increase 2 percent to 5 percent in the fourth quarter from NT$17.91 billion in the third quarter. Net income may grow further this quarter because of higher asset gains, Lin said.

Operating margin, however, may slide to 25 percent to 27 percent from 27.3 percent last quarter, Lin told investors.

Gross margin also set all time high at 31.7 percent last quarter, from 27.1 percent a year ago and 30.5 percent in the second quarter.

Shin Kong to auction building

Shin Kong Bank (新光銀行) -- a subsidiary of Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) -- plans to liquidate its 14-story financial building located on Minsheng E Road in Taipei during an open auction scheduled for Dec 10.

The building's floor price has been set at NT$7 billion, auctioneer DTZ Pacific Holdings Ltd said.

DTZ president Billy Yen (顏炳立) estimated that the deal's closing price may jump above NT$8.5 billion or NT$9 billion as over 40 potential bidders from Hong Kong have expressed great interest.

He said using an asking price of NT$7 billion, that the building would have a high return of between 4.6 percent and 4.8 percent from rentals, which would be lowered to approximately 3.9 percent if the deal was done at NT$9 billion.

Shin Kong has been forced by a law which restricts banks from investing in properties worth over 10 percent of their capital to sell off the lucrative rental building where several multinational companies are headquartered.

Non-banking loans proposed

The Cabinet yesterday approved a draft regulation that would legalize short-term financing by non-banking companies, it said.

Under the proposal, which still requires approval from the legislature, companies that do not operate savings deposits and other banking businesses would be allowed to offer short-term financing to the needy, the Cabinet said in a statement.

The new measure is to make loans more easily available to the public, it said.

If approved by the legislature, authorities would be asked to set operations criteria, including a minimum capital amount, for interested parties to follow, it said.

The move was expected to help curb underground operations by loan sharks, who usually ask for more than 30 percent or even 100 percent in interest charges from the needy, market dealers said.

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