Wed, Jun 25, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares fall on inflation fears

Taiwanese shares closed 1.76 percent lower yesterday on lingering fears that rising inflation would hurt domestic economic growth, dealers said.

The weighted index fell 138.37 points to end at the day’s low of 7,738.12, off a high of 7,928.41, on turnover of NT$92.87 billion (US$3.05 billion).

Inflation fears set in to erode gains after the market had managed to rebound, dealers said.

“The thin volume makes it extremely hard for any gains to be sustained,” First Taisec Securities (一銀證券) analyst Stanley Hsu told Dow Jones Newswires.

Concord Securities (康和證券) analyst Allen Lin agreed, saying: “Investor confidence remained fragile. Once share prices went up, investors rushed to take profit.”

Lin said that because no satisfactory conclusion had been reached by oil-producing nations at a summit over the weekend, concerns over higher oil prices were running deeper.

And worse, there were no signs that government-owned funds were continuing to boost share prices as expected, Lin said.

The government was believed to have entered the market on Monday, helping stocks recoup most of their earlier heavy losses.

Hsu said that as the market already declined considerably yesterday, it could find support today.

HK-Taiwan listings mulled

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said it was studying the possibility of reciprocal listings of exchange-traded funds in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The new plan would promote financial market development in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, SFC deputy chief executive officer Alexa Lam said yesterday.

There are 54 Taiwanese companies listed in Hong Kong with a total market capitalization of HK$334.9 billion (US$42 billion).

A number of Taiwanese fund managers were already talking with major Hong Kong funds about the introduction of investment products linked to Chinese stocks in Taiwan, Lam said. Hong Kong has 12 Taiwan-focused funds, the regulator said.

Taiwan still faces restrictions on investments in Chinese enterprises listed in Hong Kong, Lam said.

Taiwan Water back to profit

Taiwan Water Corp (台灣自來水公司) turned a profit of NT$257 million (US$8.44 million) last year despite initially expecting to lose money for the period, chairman Liao Tsung-shen (廖宗盛) said yesterday.

Speaking at a stockholders’ meeting, Liao indicated that according to the original budget, the state-owned company had forecast a loss of NT$339 million for last year.

Liao attributed the NT$596 million turnaround in large part to a cost-cutting program supervised by the company’s board of directors and that was aggressively implemented by management.

Asia Pacific more ambitious

Telecom carrier Asia Pacific Telecom Group (亞太電信集團) aims to increase mobile subscribers in Taiwan by 33 percent next year by cutting rates and offering more handsets from major mobile phone vendors, an executive said yesterday.

In the first quarter of next year, Asia Pacific Telecom aims to increase mobile users to 2 million from 1.5 million now, said Ted Tsai (蔡福原), vice president of Asia Pacific Telecom.

Asia Pacific said new subscriptions increased faster than expected in the first five months after offering lower rate packages in January, Tsai said.

NT dollar weakens

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday weakened by NT$0.036 to close at NT$30.437 against the US dollar on turnover of US$1.031 billion.

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