Fears drag market lower
Shares closed 1.19 percent lower yesterday as early gains spurred by a rebound on Wall Street gave way to fears on margin calls amid the local bourse's continuing volatility, dealers said.
The TAIEX closed down 99.50 points at a session low of 8,276.26, after hitting a high of 8,440.12, on turnover of NT$101.31 billion (US$3.14 billion).
Decliners outnumbered advancers 1,382 to 618, with 417 stocks unchanged.
SinoPac Securities (永豐金證券) assistant vice president Alvin Teng (鄧可欣) said the market's weaker close reflected investor caution in the face of global market and economic uncertainties.
"While there was some bargain-hunting interest, investors were reluctant to chase prices much higher," he said.
Teng noted that some market participants cut positions because of margin call worries.
He said the index's failure to defend the annual moving average of around 8,468 points also pointed to technical pressure.
On the foreign exchange market, the NT dollar was little changed at NT$32.326 against the US currency, down NT$0.006 from the previous day, Taipei Forex Inc figures showed.
Fubon appoints Kao, Harn
Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), the nation's third-largest financial services group by market value, named Charles Kao (高朝陽) and Jerry Harn (韓蔚廷) as co-presidents of its banking unit, replacing Jesse Ding (丁予康).
Taipei Fubon Bank's (台北富邦銀行) board yesterday approved the appointment of the pair, both of whom were the bank's senior executive vice presidents, Fubon Financial said in an e-mailed statement. Kao would be in charge of consumer banking and Harn would supervise corporate banking, the statement said.
Ding resigned as president to head EnTie Commercial Bank (安泰銀行). Longreach Group, the buyout firm founded by former UBS AG investment banker Mark Chiba, agreed to pay NT$23 billion in June for a 51 percent stake in the unprofitable EnTie Bank.
NEC to reduce units, jobs
NEC Electronics Corp, Japan's third-biggest semiconductor maker, said it would reduce its local chip-making units to three from six in order to cut costs.
The company would combine operations at the six companies in April, NEC said yesterday in a statement. The chipmaker said it had begun talks with labor unions about an early retirement plan for employees, without saying how many workers would be cut.
The move is part of president Toshio Nakajima's efforts to improve profitability after two straight annual losses at the firm, whose shares have fallen 17 percent in the past year. The company shut a factory in Indonesia and is now focusing on chips used in cars and consumer electronics, including Nintendo Co's Wii game console.
LG.Philips drops court action
LG.Philips LCD Co, the world's second largest maker of flat panel screens, said yesterday it had reached an out-of-court settlement with a Taiwanese company over violations of patented technologies.
Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (CPT,
"This is a compromise deal in which LG.Philips will drop its suits against CPT," a spokeswoman said, adding the two would share each others LCD-related patents.
LG.Philips filed two separate suits against Chunghwa in US courts in 2002 and 2005, claiming that the Taiwanese firm copied its technology.