Wed, Jan 14, 2009 - Page 11 News List

[BUSINESS BRIEFS]

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares close up 1.76 percent

Share prices closed up 1.76 percent yesterday as bargain hunting offset the impact from Wall Street’s overnight losses, dealers said.

The weighted index rose 78.46 points to 4,532.36 on turnover of NT$49.72 billion (US$1.51 billion).

Gainers led losers by 945 to 545 with 256 stocks unchanged.

The local bourse closed up on short-covering led by tech shares and a rebound in financial shares, Daiwa Securities (大和證券) fund manager David Li (李衍磬) said.

Compal to halve spending

Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦), the world’s second-largest maker of notebook computers, said it would halve spending this year as the global recession forced the company to scale back plans for new facilities in Vietnam.

“We want to control our capital spending and hold onto a high cash position because we don’t know how long this winter will last,” Chang Chih-ming (張志銘), a spokesman for the Taipei-based company, said in an interview yesterday.

Compal has cut the size of its planned Vietnam factory by at least a half, he said.

Compal spent NT$8 billion last year and plans around NT$4 billion in spending this year, Chang said.

Around NT$2 billion will be spent on facilities in China, compared with NT$2 billion to NT$3 billion last year, while NT$1 billion is planned for Vietnam and a further NT$1 billion will go toward its computer-casing business, Chang said.

BMW boosts sales in China

BMW AG, the world’s top luxury-car maker, boosted its sales in China by 28 percent last year as the country’s economic growth spurred demand for premium sedans.

The automaker sold a total of 65,822 BMW and Mini cars in mainland China, it said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

Including sales in Hong Kong and Macau, as well as sales in Taiwan, the figure jumped 23 percent to 75,355 from a year earlier.

BMW’s gains in China contrast with its worldwide sales, which dipped 4.3 percent last year because of the global recession.

Central bank optimistic

The central bank issued its latest financial health report yesterday, saying the nation’s financial system remained relatively stable last year, compared with foreign counterparts, despite global financial market turmoil.

The monetary regulator said domestic banks were affected after Wall Street woes surfaced in the third quarter of last year, but the impact had been limited with the help of government measures such as a loose monetary policy and a guarantee on all bank deposits.

However, the central bank said it remained to be seen if financial risks would increase.

It is the second time the central bank has published such a report, intended to increase transparency in the domestic financial system.

Japan equipment sales to fall

Japan’s sales of equipment used to make chips and flat-panel displays will drop 37 percent this fiscal year as oversupply forces chipmakers to postpone spending plans, an industry group said.

Revenue from the machinery will probably fall to ¥1.42 trillion (US$16 billion) in the year ending March 31, the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan said in a statement yesterday.

Sales will probably extend declines next fiscal year, slumping 23 percent to ¥1.09 trillion, it said.

The forecast from the industry group echoes projections by UBS AG, which on Dec. 1 said that global semiconductor-equipment sales would fall 30 percent this year.

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