Fri, Jun 13, 2008 - Page 11 News List

[ BUSINESS BRIEFS ]

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares close lower

Taiwanese shares closed 3.4 percent lower yesterday on Wall Street’s sharp fall and concerns over oil prices, dealers said. The weighted index closed down 283.28 points at 8,062.31 on turnover of NT$124.86 billion (US$4.11 billion).

“The sharp decline of Wall Street and the concerns over record highs in oil prices dealt another blow to the fragile market,” said Chen Yu-yu of Capital Securities Corp (群益證券).

“Optimism spurred by the possible easing of restrictions on Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan had been reflected over the past few weeks,” Chen said.

On the foreign exchange market, the NT dollar continued dropping against the US dollar and closed NT$0.076 lower at NT$30.451.

Turnover was US$1.092 billion on the Taipei Forex Inc.

AU Optronics eyes new factory

AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the world’s third-biggest maker of liquid-crystal displays, may spend NT$100 billion (US$3.3 billion) to build an advanced factory to produce large television screens.

The investment would be for the first phase of the plant, with production capacity of about 30,000 panels a month, Hsiao Ya-wen (蕭雅文), a spokeswoman for the Hsinchu-based company, said yesterday. Construction will start next year and the factory may begin production as early as 2011, she said.

“We’re still at an initial planning stage,” Hsiao said.

The company hasn’t decided on the size of the screens to be produced or where in Taiwan the plant will be located, she said.

Electricity use set to increase

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) forecast electricity consumption will rise to record levels this year as an expanding economy fuels demand.

Electricity demand may reach 34,155 megawatts this summer, driving the reserve margin, or spare capacity at times of peak consumption, to 13.6 percent, Taipower said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. That’s below the government target of 16 percent.

Taiwan’s GDP will probably grow 4.78 percent this year, after the 5.72 percent gain last year, the government’s statistics bureau said on May 29.

“Our forecast is based on economic growth,” Clint Chou (周義岳), a Taipower spokesman, said by phone yesterday.

PRC inflation dips

China’s inflation rate dipped to a still-high 7.7 percent last month amid signs that efforts to rein in food prices were finally taking hold, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

The decline in the consumer price index for last month was down from the 8.5 percent rate in April. However, economists warn that surging prices for crude oil and other commodities pose a continued threat, even as food price increases abate with the arrival of summer.

The lower CPI rate for last month did little to reassure investors jittery over the likelihood of further credit-tightening to contain inflation. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell for a seventh day yesterday, sinking 2.2 percent to 2,957.53, its lowest close in nearly 15 months.

Bank appoints new president

Standard Chartered Bank (Taiwan) Ltd (渣打國際商銀) yesterday appointed Sunil Kaushal as its new president and chief executive officer, replacing Jim McCabe on July 1, the lender said in a statement.

McCabe will succeed Wu Chih-wei (吳志偉) as non-executive chairman of the bank, after Wu decided to step down to pursue his own career, the statement said.

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