Fri, May 30, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

TAIEX rises 0.22%

Taiwanese shares closed up 0.22 percent yesterday despite a tapering off in early gains driven by a Wall Street rise and hopes for improved transport and tourism links with China, dealers said.

The weighted index closed up 19.19 points at 8,684.92 after moving in the range of 8,794.02 and 8,675.71 on turnover of NT$116.37 billion (US$3.83 billion).

Decliners outnumbered advancers 1,391 to 984, while 339 stocks were unchanged. Five stocks closed limit-up, while 21 were limit-down.

Tu Jin-lung (杜金龍), president at Grand Cathay Investment Services Corp (大華投顧), said the market lost steam because of selling related to yesterday’s settlement of Taiwan index futures contracts in Singapore.

He said there were continuing worries about high energy prices and their impact on the economy.

“Global price pressures and domestic fuel price hikes are adding to inflation fears and economic worries,” he said.

Tu said investors were eager to lock in profits in tourism and other firms that had posted sharp gains recently on expectations of improved cross-strait economic ties.

Evaders barred from leaving

As of late February, 52,716 people had been banned from leaving the country for failing to pay taxes, Ministry of Finance statistics released yesterday showed.

The people barred from leaving the country by tax authorities were involved in 52,037 cases in which they failed to pay taxes as stipulated in the tax law, the statistics showed.

The total sum of money owed by tax evaders amounted to NT$236.69 billion, the ministry said.

Of the total number, 1,482 failed to pay taxes to the Taipei National Tax Administration, one of the 25 tax authorities around the country, with the total sum of money owed amounting to NT$59.06 billion, the statistics showed.

US economy grows 0.9%

The US economy plodded ahead at a 0.9 percent pace in the first quarter — slightly better than first estimated — but still underscoring caution on the part of consumers and businesses walloped by housing, credit and financial problems.

The new reading on GDP, released by the Department of Commerce yesterday, was an improvement from the government’s initial growth estimate for the January-to-March quarter as well as the economy’s performance in the final quarter of last year. Both periods were pegged at a 0.6 percent growth rate.

Looking ahead, top forecasters at the National Association for Business Economics predicted that the economy would creep along at a 0.4 percent growth rate during the April-to-June period, which is expected to be the weakest quarter of this year. Growth should pick up to a 2.2 percent pace in the third quarter, energized by the Federal Reserve’s series of rate reductions and billions of dollars in tax rebates flowing into the hands of Americans from Uncle Sam.

Tetra Pak backs green energy

Sharing its experience in responsible environmental practices, packaging company Tetra Pak urged Taiwan yesterday to encourage its industries to adopt green energy.

The managing director of Tetra Pak Taiwan Ltd, Charles Brand, urged state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) to look at providing businesses with alternative greener sources of energy such as wind and solar power.

Brand made the remarks at the Low Carbon Society and Carbon Neutrality Actions Workshop organized by the Environmental Quality Protection Foundation to mark World Environment Day on June 5, whose theme this year is “Kick the habit! Towards a low-carbon economy.”

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