Optimism offsets early losses
Taiwanese shares closed little changed yesterday as reports that China was preparing to resume talks with Taiwan helped offset early losses after Wall Street slumped on record oil prices, dealers said.
Premier Liu Chao-shiuan’s (劉兆玄) pledges that the new government remained committed to launching weekend flights and increasing tourist arrivals from China from early July also helped the market recover, they added.
The weighted index closed down 7.54 points at the day’s best level of 9,008.03, after hitting a low of 8,878.06. Turnover was NT$141.88 billion (US$4.67 billion).
Decliners outnumbered advancers 1,570 to 826, while 311 stocks were unchanged. A total of 22 stocks closed limit-up, while 21 were limit-down.
Hon Hai climbs on ‘orders’
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) yesterday saw its shares climb 2.6 percent on news that the firm, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, won orders to make notebook computers from Dell Inc. Shares of Foxconn Technology Co (鴻準精密), Hon Hai’s subsidiary which makes computer casings, climbed 1.4 percent.
Shipments, which are expected to begin in the first quarter of next year, may total more than 3 million units, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported yesterday. Hon Hai denied the report in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange later yesterday.
Two insurers get green light
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday gave its approval to applications by two domestic non-life insurers to launch health insurance products, a commission statement said.
Among 11 applications, Cathay Century Insurance (國泰世紀產險) and Fubon Insurance Co (富邦產險) were qualified to launch health insurance related products, which will expire in only one year, in accordance with revisions to the Insurance Law (保險法), it said.
The commission is still reviewing the remaining nine applications, four of which have provided supplementary documents.
Fubon Financial raises profit
Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), the nation’s third-largest financial services company by market value, yesterday revised first-quarter net profit up 3 percent to NT$3.38 billion (US$111 million) from NT$3.28 billion as announced on April 10.
The revised profit, still unaudited, was down 2.2 percent from a year earlier, the Taipei-based company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Fubon attributed the profit decline to foreign exchange losses at its insurance unit, the statement said.
Fubon’s life insurance unit had an embedded value of NT$32.3 billion at the end of last year, representing NT$4.2 per share for the parent company, the statement said.
Stock exchange up one notch
The Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp announced on Wednesday that the combined market value of listed companies as of March had reached US$715.2 billion, ranking 19th among members of the World Federation of Exchange, up one notch from February’s standing.
According to federation statistics, the total market value of listed companies in Taiwan increased from US$663.7 billion at the end of last year, when it ranked 21st globally, to US$691.7 billion in February to rank 20th in the world, and to US$715.2 billion in March, a stock exchange official said.
The trading value of the Taiwanese stock market for the first two months of this year reached US$154.2 billion, ranking 18th among federation members, and increased to US$260 billion in March, with the ranking rising to 17th, the official said.