Thu, Dec 04, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

TAIEX down 1.14 percent

Taiwanese shares closed 1.14 percent lower yesterday, despite an overnight rally on Wall Street, amid lingering concerns for the local economy, dealers said.

The weighted index closed down 49.72 points at 4,307.26, off a low of 4,289.13 and a high of 4,379.25. Turnover was NT$59.42 billion (US$1.8 billion).

Decliners outnumbered gainers 757 to 536, with 332 stocks unchanged.

Analysts said news of bluechip high-tech companies lowering their fourth quarter revenue forecast also weighed on sentiment.

Committee okays tax revisions

The legislature’s Finance Committee yesterday preliminarily approved the Cabinet’s proposal to lower the gift and inheritance tax rates to a flat 10 percent, but lawmakers remained divided on the tax exemption threshold.

At present, gift and inheritance tax rates vary from 2 percent to 50 percent depending on the wealth given or inherited.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕), who presided over the legislative review, said she and colleagues gave the go-ahead in the hope the tax cut could help attract return of Taiwanese capital from abroad and stimulate economic growth.

But Lu said more cross-party talks are needed before the legislature can hold second and third readings of the tax reform as lawmakers disagree on the exemption figure.

CAL to add seat capacity

China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空), Taiwan’s largest carrier, intends to add capacity to meet increased demand for flights to China to challenge Hong Kong as a hub for north Asia.

“The direct link offers Taiwan a chance to compete with Hong Kong to become an aviation hub,” carrier president Sun Huang-hsiang (孫洪祥) said in Shanghai yesterday.

The airline could boost the seat count by as much as 15 percent in the next five years. The direct flights, which shave as much as six hours off the journey across the 161km Taiwan Strait, could boost sales to the 1 million Taiwanese living in China.

“Taiwan’s international flight networks will also be able to support transshipment of exported products,” Sun said.

Court turns down Hynix bid

Hynix Semiconductor Inc, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, lost a bid to reverse unfavorable rulings in a patent-infringement case it lost to Rambus Inc.

US District Judge Ronald Whyte in San Jose, California, on Tuesday denied Hynix’s request, after trial, for a reversal that would have undone rulings the judge made before trial. Judge Whyte also denied Hynix’s bid for a new trial.

In March, Rambus won the final phase of its patent suit against Hynix. The victory allowed it to pursue US$133.4 million awarded against Hynix in 2006 after a jury found it infringed Rambus’s patents.

Rambus is also waiting for Whyte’s decision on its request for an order barring Hynix from selling its chips in the US.

NT dollar at five-week low

The NT dollar dropped to a five-week low on concern declines in local stocks will curb demand among foreign investors.

The NT dollar dropped 0.1 percent to NT$33.528 versus the US dollar, the Taipei Forex Inc said. It touched NT$33.554, the weakest level since Oct. 28.

“Overall, the environment for risk still looks bad, risk aversion is still out there,” said Thio Chin Loo, a senior currency strategist at BNP Paribas SA in Singapore. “Our outlook is still for further weakness in the Taiwan dollar.”

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