Wed, Nov 21, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares close flat

Share prices closed little changed yesterday as the market recouped early losses driven by an overnight tumble on Wall Street, dealers said. Fears of more volatility because of the US credit crisis were still prominent, they said.

The TAIEX closed up 0.15 points at yesterday's high of 8,680.86 and off a low 8,372.05, on turnover of NT$139.99 billion (US$4.32 billion).

"The dramatic turnaround toward the close reflects expectations that the market might have hit a near-term bottom, for now at least," said Michael Hsu, assistant vice president at Taiwan Life Asset Management (台灣人壽資產管裡).

Bargain-hunting activity may pick up in the coming days and support a technical rebound, Hsu said.

However, volatility was set to remain a feature on both Wall Street and the local bourse for a while, he said, noting continued concerns over global financial sector losses due to bad US housing loans.

Decliners led risers 1,380 to 708, with 332 stocks unchanged.

Current account narrows

The current account narrowed in the third quarter to NT$6.02 billion from NT$6.2 billion (US$186 million) a year earlier, the central bank said yesterday in Taipei.

The current account surplus in the second quarter was revised to NT$5.27 billion, the report showed.

The goods surplus climbed to NT$7.4 billion from NT$6.66 billion a year earlier. The surplus on the income account, which includes dividend payments, narrowed to NT$1.34 billion from NT$1.45 billion. The deficit on the services account, which includes travel spending, widened to NT$1.74 billion from NT$1.07 billion.

The financial account, which measures investment flows, had a deficit of NT$13.8 billion, rising from a NT$4.09 billion shortfall a year earlier.

Direct investment recorded a net outflow of NT$1.46 billion, more than the NT$129 million a year earlier. Portfolio investment had a net outflow of NT$14 billion, more than the NT$7.29 billion a year ago.

Test Rite sells building

Test Rite International Co (特力集團) said yesterday that it has sold its six-floor B&Q building in Neihu to Citi Property Investors (CPI) Asia Pacific for NT$5.5 billion (US$170 million), local media reported.

CPT, however, refused to comment on the deal.

After the building's liquidation, Test Rite will continue to run the mall, where branches of Hola, Carrefour and several other supermarkets are located, by paying an estimated NT$250 million in annual rentals to CPI, which is guaranteed a 5 percent return rate.

NT dollar gains

The New Taiwan dollar gained ground against the US dollar yesterday, rising NT$0.001 to close at NT$32.350. A total of US$908 million changed hands during the day's trading on the Taipei Forex.

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