Wed, Nov 14, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

Taiwan's stocks gain ground

Taiwan's stocks gained 56.60, or 0.7 percent, to close at 8,727.21 yesterday, rebounding from a two-month low, as Yang Ming Marine Transport (陽明海運) paced advances among shipping companies on expectations of falling fuel costs after a drop in the price of crude oil.

"Cheaper fuel prices certainly is a plus for shipping companies," said Vickie Hsieh (謝雯霞), who oversees US$1.4 billion at President Investment Trust Corp (統一投信). "Investors will now be more comfortable in investing in them."

Yang Ming Marine, the nation's second-largest container-shipping line, rose NT$0.80, or 3.2 percent, to NT$25.80. Evergreen Marine, Taiwan's largest, rose NT$0.10, or 0.4 percent, to NT$26.85.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) gained NT$2.30, or 2.5 percent, to NT$95.60. The company resumed production at its No. 2 ethylene plant in Mailiao Township (麥寮), which was shut on Sept. 26 for maintenance.

Elsewhere, China Steel Corp (中鋼), Taiwan's largest maker of the alloy, gained NT$1.45, or 3.4 percent, to NT$43.55. China Steel will announce price increases on Thursday next week for products to be shipped in the first quarter, the Wealth News reported, without citing anyone.

Investment in China up 14%

Foreign investment in China rose 14 percent last month from a year ago to US$67.8 billion, the government said yesterday.

That brought total foreign investment for the first 10 months of this year to US$539.9 billion, an 11.5 percent increase over the same period last year, the Chinese ministry of commerce reported.

The figure has climbed steadily despite government curbs on industries such as auto manufacturing and textiles where the number of factories and other assets are believed to exceed demand.

Investment by US entities in new enterprises in China fell 5.9 percent last month, the ministry said.

Securities industry `stable'

Taiwan Ratings Corp (中華信評) gave a stable outlook for the nation's securities industry, citing the sector's adequate liquidity and capitalization, a statement released on Monday showed.

But intense competition and volatile earnings performances are expected to constitute continuing challenges to local securities firms, the ratings agency said.

"Continuing deregulation, enhanced risk management practices, and resources from financial holding company groups will continue to support the stable credit profiles of key domestic securities firms," said Chun Huang (黃俊榮), associate director of Taiwan Ratings' financial services ratings.

"Concentrated revenue sources and growing industry competition pose a risk to the livelihoods of most securities firms but also threaten to marginalize weaker securities firms," he added.

Won falls to monthly low

The South Korean won fell to the lowest in a month on speculation the central bank sold the currency to protect local exporters. Bonds declined.

The won slipped for a second day along with the yen and the yuan. Finance Minister Kwon Okyu (權五奎) this month said the government would buy or sell its currency to curb speculative moves in the foreign-exchange market.

The won fell as much as 1 percent to 920.30 to the US dollar, the weakest since Oct. 11, before closing at 918.70 at 3pm yesterday in Seoul from 911.30, according to Seoul Money Brokerage Services Ltd. Yesterday's decline was the biggest since Aug. 16.

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