Tue, Dec 09, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares close 4.57% higher

Taiwanese share prices closed up 4.57 percent yesterday, led by top financial and electronic firms, as market sentiment was boosted by significant gains on Wall Street and regional markets, dealers said.

The weighted index rose 193.26 points to 4,418.33, from a low of 4,278.61 and a high of 4,424.09, on turnover of NT$64.20 billion (US$1.92 billion).

The market opened 1.27 percent higher as the financial sector staged a technical rebound and the momentum accelerated with interest spreading across the board and the bellwether electronic sector in focus, dealers said.

While the US reported a 15-year high jobless rate last month, Wall Street recouped early heavy losses to gain 3.09 percent on Friday.

Regional markets hailed the Wall Street performance, prompting investors to leave behind pessimism over a global economic meltdown and hunt for bargains, Mega Securities (兆豐證券) analyst Alex Huang (黃國偉) said.

After such a strong showing in Taiwan yesterday, “there may be little difficulty” for the index to reach around 4,500 points, Huang said.

He said he suspected that foreign institutional investors were shifting to the buy side.

“I expect the rebound will continue,” he said.

The financial sector has become a favorite as investors anticipate that Taiwan and China may soon set up a mechanism for banking cooperation, dealers said.

Huang said “large cap” electronics — firms with the biggest market capitalization — benefited from low valuations after they had been hard hit amid concerns over weakening global consumption.

S Korea eyes Latin America

South Korea will target specific export markets, notably Latin America, to overcome a “very difficult” year next year, a minister said yesterday.

“Next year we believe the export market will be very difficult,” South Korean Knowledge Economy Minister Lee Youn-ho said.

“We will be forming a very precise export strategy ... and also target the Latin American market,” he said.

Next month the government will invite 1,000 international buyers to South Korea to introduce export items of potential interest, the minister said.

China Steel sales drop

China Steel Corp (中鋼), the nation’s largest steelmaker, yesterday said sales fell 16 percent last month from October.

Sales dropped to NT$15.4 billion, the Kaohsiung-based company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, without giving a comparative figure.

The steel maker’s board further decided to stop pumping cash into the high-speed railway, while posting NT$4.739 billion in losses for the third quarter of this year.

Ministry mulls overseas bonds

The Ministry of Finance yesterday confirmed it is considering issuing overseas bonds to raise funds for public construction works.

The ministry released a statement in the evening after media ran reports that the government intended to issue overseas bonds as early as the first half of next year.

The ministry said it needed to factor in interest rates, the health of bond markets and ties with foreign countries before making a decision.

It said it would weigh the pros and cons of the bonds.

NT dollar gains ground

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday strengthened by NT$0.032 to close at NT$33.517 against the US dollar on turnover of US$636 million.

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