Shares down 1.66 percent
Taiwanese shares closed down 1.66 percent at an almost two-year low yesterday as the bellwether electronics sector extended losses amid concerns over global demand, dealers said.
The weighted index fell 113.27 points at 6,699.82, off a low of 6,675.09 and a high of 6,811.57, on turnover of NT$92.15 billion (US$2.92 billion).
Yesterday’s closing level was the lowest since mid-September 2006. Losers outnumbered gainers by 1,491 to 506 with 398 stocks unchanged.
President Securities (統一證券) analyst Steven Huang said that as the market falls below the key technical support of 6,700 points, it is possible that the index will test 6,500 points if Wall Street sees additional volatility.
Fujitsu, Nanya end feud
Fujitsu Microelectronics Ltd of Japan and Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) of Taiwan yesterday agreed to settle their patent disputes. In a joint statement, the two companies said they have signed a patent licensing agreement with financial arrangements to resolve the disputes.
In August 2005, Fujitsu Microelectronics sued Nanya Technology, accusing the Taiwanese company of infringing its patents involving DRAM chip production. Nanya Technology brought up countersuits against Fujitsu Microelectronics in the US and Japan in September 2006.
Banks lower THSRC interest
Some 20 creditor banks yesterday reached a consensus to lower the interest rate of their NT$279 billion (US$8.79 billion) in syndicated loans to Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵) by 0.494 percentage points, the loan’s leading bank, Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐國際商銀), said in a press statement.
The final rate for the railway company’s loans will be lowered to average 3.9757 percent from the previous average 4.4697 percent, which creditor banks say is reasonable and helps THSRC to improve its finances. Within the syndicated loans, some NT$39.1 billion, however, will still have a higher interest rate of 4.5979 percent, the statement added.
Mega International hopes to officially ink the interest rate cut in a month after the remaining 19 banks finalize yesterday’s consensus.
Taiwan Lottery misses target
Taiwan Lottery Co (台灣彩券公司) will not be able to meet its sales target of NT$75 billion (US$2.36 billion) this year because of sluggish economic conditions, the company said on Monday.
Oliver Shang (尚瑞強), chairman of Taiwan Lottery, said the company has revised its sales target for the year down to NT$72 billion.
Total sales totaled NT$45.3 billion as of the end of last month, he said.
Noting that the fourth quarter is traditionally a high season for lottery ticket sales, Shang said the company should be able to meet its new goal with average monthly sales of NT$6.5 billion to the end of the year.
Despite lower than projected sales, the company expected its operating losses would fall to NT$200 million for this year from last year’s figure of NT$380 million.
Australia cuts rates
Australia’s central bank cut interest rates yesterday for the first time in more than six-and-a-half years, pushing them down 25 basis points to 7 percent amid signs of cooling economic growth
Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said the bank had taken the decision at its monthly meeting because financial conditions had become “quite tight” because of rate hikes earlier this year and the global credit squeeze.