Sat, May 17, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares close higher

Share prices closed 0.44 percent higher yesterday after Wall Street rose and oil prices slipped overnight, dealers said.

The weighted index closed up 40.23 points at 9,197.41, after trading between 9,171.39 and 9,241.52, on turnover of 180.87 billion NT dollars (US$5.89 billion).

Risers led decliners 1,466 to 906, with 321 stocks unchanged. A total of 31 stocks closed limit-up, while 15 were limit-down.

For the week to today, the weighted index closed up 405.02 points or 4.61 percent after a 1.91 percent fall a week earlier.

Average daily turnover stood at NT$147.58 billion, compared with NT$142.84 billion a week ago.

Oil price hits US$127

The price of oil rocketed to a record high point of US$127.43 per barrel yesterday, as US President George W. Bush prepared to urge Saudi Arabia to pump more crude, analysts said.

New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for June delivery, beat the previous all-time peak of US$126.98 set on Tuesday owing to worries about tight supplies despite a downgrade to global oil demand growth for this year.

The contract later stood at US$126.90, up US$2.78 from Thursday’s close.

On Thursday, OPEC trimmed its estimate of world oil demand growth, citing higher prices and slower economic momentum in major industrialized countries including the US.

Global oil demand was projected to grow by 1.35 percent this year, compared with a previous estimate of 1.4 percent, OPEC said in a monthly survey.

Neo Solar approves bonds

Local solar cell maker Neo Solar Power Corp (新日光) said yesterday the board has approved the sale of up to US$50 million in convertible bonds overseas to fund new facilities and equipment.

Neo Solar plans to offer a 2 percent coupon rate for the three-year bonds, a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange said.

The issuance will still need approval from the Financial Supervisory Commission. Neo Solar is a solar energy subsidiary of the nation’s biggest computer memory maker, Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體).

Chinatrust named best bank

Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託商銀) was named by the Asian Banker Journal to be the best retail bank in Taiwan last year, the bank said yesterday.

Along with 15 other best bank winners, Chinatrust outperformed the remaining 134 banks from 23 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the statement said, adding awards were given out to winning banks during the 2008 Asia Pacific Heads of Retail Banking Meeting in Bangkok yesterday.

The journal also claimed Chinatrust to have the best application of customer relationship management in the Asia-Pacific region, which was launched by the bank since 2005.

The best banks in other Asian countries include ANZ Bank in Australia, Standard Chartered Bank in Bangladesh and Industrial Commercial Bank of China (中國工商銀行), HSBC (Hong Kong) and Bank Central Asia in Indonesia as well as Mizuho Bank in Japan.

China Steel donates to Sichuan

China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼), the largest processor and distributor of steel in Taiwan, donated NT$100 million (US$3.25 million) yesterday to help victims in earthquake-ravaged Sichuan Province in southwestern China.

The CSC management expressed the hope that the donation will be primarily used to rebuild collapsed schools in earthquake-stricken areas and it also called on all CSC staff and workers to donate to the quake relief effort.

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