Tue, Jan 13, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

TAIEX shares close lower

Taiwanese shares closed down 0.31 percent yesterday as late selling in financial stocks ate away early gains amid continuing economic concerns, dealers said.

The weighted index fell 13.63 points to 4,453.90 on turnover of NT$55.86 billion (US$1.68 billion).

The market opened 0.45 percent higher on a technical rebound before selling on financial heavyweights emerged, dealers said.

“Worries over economic fundamentals still haunted the market,” Taiwan International Securities (金鼎證券) analyst Arch Shih (施博元) said.

“Investors were afraid that an increase of collapsed enterprises would force banks to assign large provisions for bad loans,” Shih said.

Shih said although the market rose in morning trade, not many were willing to chase prices, adding the thin trading volume showed most investors remained sidelined.

“Investors were just watching how US companies will report their quarterly results later this month and how Wall Street will react,” Shih said.

“I expect the market will need some time to consolidate before it overcomes the 4,500-point technical hurdle,” he said.

Notebook computer Asustek fell 5.85 percent to 30.60 after the company warned of possible losses for the fourth quarter of last year.

Auction site expects boom

Yahoo-Kimo Inc (雅虎奇摩), the nation’s largest online auction site expects same-time sales growth of 180 percent, boosted by the upcoming voucher spending spree, the company said.

“The government’s NT$80 billion give-away on consumer vouchers is creating tremendous opportunities for retail businesses everywhere as well as on the Internet,” Charlene Hung (洪小玲) general manager at Yahoo Taiwan said yesterday.

To take advantage of the country’s first-ever cash coupon program, Yahoo-Kimo partnered with 12 of the top leading brands on its shopping network to provide one-of-a-kind Yahoo Only exclusive offerings on popular items at rock-bottom prices.

From yesterday through Jan. 31, when shoppers apply for online gold membership, Yahoo’s “voucher 5+1” program, turns NT$3,600 coupons into NT$5,200 worth of online currency, which is an instant appreciation of 44 percent, Hung said.

Moreover, other value-added services include payment upon receipt of merchandise, payment at convenient stores, and pickup at convenient stores.

The enterprising search engine, truly localized to the customs in Taiwan, has defied macroeconomics and saw a 30 percent sales growth last quarter.

Fubon expects lower income

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), the nation’s second-largest financial services company by market, expects net income this year may be worse than last year, President Victor Kung (龔天行) said in Taipei yesterday.

The company on Dec. 9 reported 2008 profit fell by 25 percent from a year ago to NT$10.8 billion.

NT dollar lower against US

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday slid for a fourth day against the US currency, the longest losing streak in a month, on concern exports will drop further as a global recession deepens.

The currency, approaching a three-year low, weakened after overseas investors sold more Taiwan stocks than they bought on each of the past four trading days. Exports slumped by a record 42 percent in last month, the Ministry of Finance reported last week.

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