TAIEX closes lower
Taiwan share prices closed 0.30 percent lower yesterday amid doubts over whether the US economy will be able to avert a recession despite another 50 basis point interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve overnight, dealers said.
The TAIEX closed down 22.37 points at 7,521.13 off a low of 7,400.74 and a high of 7,579.43. Turnover was NT$124.22 billion (US$3.86 billion).
Decliners outnumbered advancers 1,306 to 617, with 401 stocks unchanged.
On the foreign exchange market, the New Taiwan dollar ended at 32.198 to the US dollar, up NT$0.05 from the previous close.
Storms' impact small: Formosa
Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑) said the snow storm in central and southern China had little impact on its operations there.
"Our factories are in Ningpo, Zhejiang Province, but our operations had little impact from the storm," a company official said.
The official, who declined to be named, said that business remains "normal."
Formosa Plastics produces polyvinyl chloride, acrylic esters and polypropylene, which are key components used in consumer goods, textiles and plastic products, respectively.
Chinatrust approves new head
The board of Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) yesterday approved the promotion of James Chen (陳佳文) as president, replacing James Sheu (許建基). Chen is currently president of the company's institutional group.
The board also appointed Daniel Wu (吳一揆) as its chief investment officer while Oliver Shang (尚瑞強) was promoted to president of subsidiary Chinatrust Commercial Bank's (中信銀) personal banking, the company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
NPL drop helps banks
The local banking sector's asset quality inched up with its non-performing loan (NPL) ratio dropping 0.29 percentage points month-on-month to 1.84 percent last month, Financial Supervisory Commission statistics showed.
The nation's 39 domestic banks had a total of NT$328.1 billion (US$10 billion) in bad loans by the end of December -- a fall of NT$49.5 billion from November, the commission's data showed.
Twenty-nine of the 39 banks maintained an NPL ratio of less than 2.5 percent and the ratio for another six banks ranged between 2.5 percent and 5 percent. Chinfon Bank (慶豐銀行) remains to be the worst-performing bank among the remaining four.
Titanium credit card launched
E.Sun Bank (玉山銀行) yesterday teamed up with MasterCard Worldwide and launched the nation's first titanium credit card, targeting women cardholders with an interest in fashion, shopping benefits and cash rebates.
"The spending power of female cardholders is on the rise with a lower default risk than male cardholders," said Ben Chen (陳炳良), senior executive vice president of E.Sun's credit card division.
As an upgrade from platinum cards, the newly launched titanium card may be able to attract a potential market of 6 million people, half of the nation's 12 million platinum cardholders, MasterCard's senior vice president Tina Chiang (江威娜) said.
Bank lowers forecasts
Standard Chartered Bank lowered its forecasts for the South Korean won, the New Taiwan dollar and the Philippine peso for the second and third quarters on speculation a US recession will steer investors away from emerging markets.
Standard Chartered "strongly disagrees" with the decoupling theory that Asian markets will be insulated from a US slowdown.
PLANNED OUT: The government is lifting sale and export restrictions on 60% of the 20 million masks made daily, but people can still make purchases using their NHI cards Twenty thousand boxes of 50 masks each would be on sale at FamilyMart convenience stores starting tomorrow, Taiwan FamilyMart Co Ltd (全家便利商店) said yesterday. A box of 50 masks would cost NT$249 for those with FamilyMart memberships and NT$299 for those without, with no limits placed on how many boxes a person can buy, the company said. Convenience store chain operator Hi-Life International Co Ltd (萊爾富) said that it would also start selling masks from tomorrow. It has yet to announce details about prices and quantity. Hypermarket chain operator Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福) said that it would start selling packs of five
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Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵) is expected to recover quickly from the effects of COVID-19, as life returns to normal and thanks to the government’s domestic travel incentives, Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) said in a note on Friday. THSRC’s business might have bottomed out after revenue fell 49.83 percent year-on-year to NT$2.03 billion (US$67.59 million) in April, the lowest in nearly 10 years, while combined revenue in the first four months dropped 26.44 percent to NT$11.63 billion, as the COVID-19 outbreak reduced ridership, the investment consultancy said. “The worst should be over in April as domestic tourism
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