Tue, May 13, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares jump on construction

Taiwanese share prices closed 0.43 percent higher yesterday in a rebound led by construction and electronics stocks, dealers said.

The weighted index closed up 37.66 points at 8,830.05, off a low of 8,754.27 and a high of 8,838.99, on turnover of NT$106.76 billion (US$3.48 billion).

Construction stocks rose on reports that a group of Chinese businessmen had decided to buy NT$1.32 billion in property from Shining Building Business (鄉林建設) and other Taiwanese firms, dealers said.

Alex Huang (黃國偉), an analyst at Mega International Investment Services (兆豐證券), said the reported property deals revived expectations that more Chinese funds will flow into Taiwan’s real estate market.

Inflation pressure from high energy costs will continue to cast a shadow over the market, he said.

“With the new government planning to raise gasoline and utility prices soon after taking office, inflation pressure is widely expected to intensify next month,” he said.

The financial sector was hit by worries over a probe into Polaris Securities (寶來證券) executives on allegations of breach of trust, dealers said.

Polaris Securities was limit-down NT$1.45 at NT$19.65.

Group mulls Kaohsiung office

The Far Glory Group (遠雄企業團) is mulling a NT$5 billion (US$162 million) project to build a headquarters in Kaohsiung, a newspaper report said yesterday.

Far Glory plans to build a 60-story building on a plot of land, which a company shareholder owns, for the operation of its insurance arm after properties in the city showed rosy signs of recovery, the report said.

The building may cost the company some NT$5 billion to NT$6 billion, company assistant vice president Tsai Chung-i (蔡宗易) was quoted as saying in the report.

Ministry addresses fuel prices

Incoming Economic Affairs minister Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) said on Sunday the new government will deal with fuel and electricity pricing issues first while keeping water prices intact for the rest of this year.

Speaking in an interview with the Central News Agency, Yin said gasoline and diesel prices may be adjusted on a monthly basis from June, but natural gas prices may be adjusted in terms of an incremental adjustment mechanism.

As to power rates, Yin said the incoming government may introduce a floating pricing formula at an opportune time.

Premier-designate Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) said last week that the new government will grapple with the thorny fuel and utility pricing issues right after it takes power and may raise fuel and power rates in a “lump sum” manner. Fuel and electricity prices have been frozen since late last year despite skyrocketing international crude oil prices.

Coal imports fall 11%

Taiwan’s coal imports fell 11 percent from a year earlier to 4.47 million tonnes in March as China halted exports, the Bureau of Energy said.

The nation consumed 5.05 million tonnes of coal in March, a 2.9 percent decline from a year earlier, the Taipei-based bureau said on its Web site. Imports of power-station coal fell 13 percent, while those of coking coal used in steelmaking increased 8.6 percent.

The nation imports all its coal, which accounts for about one-third of energy supplies.

NT dollar falls against US

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday further weakened by NT$0.197 to trade at NT$30.850 against the greenback on turnover of US$1.464 billion.

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