Wed, Feb 04, 2009 - Page 11 News List

[BUSINESS BRIEFS]

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares climb 2.65 percent

Shares rose 2.65 percent yesterday as the electronic sector continued to rally, fuelled by a rebound in memory chip prices and a rise in demand for flat-panels, dealers said.

The weighted index rose 112.83 points to 4,372.81 on turnover worth NT$59.59 billion (US$1.76 billion).

A total of 84 shares surged to their daily 7 percent ceiling, against 12 limit-down.

The cement sector rose 5.98 percent, food rose 2.73 percent, electronics was up 2.71 percent, and chemicals gained 1.56 percent.

The market opened lower but then climbed, buoyed by a tech sector that has gained on other regional markets since the Taiwan Stock Exchange reopened on Monday after the Lunar New Year break.

“The tech sector extended its advance from yesterday,” said Alex Huang (黃國偉) of Mega International Investment Services (兆豐證券).

Laptop revenues could drop

Taiwanese contract computer makers are expected to equal last year’s production of 110 million laptops this year, but earn as much as 5 percent less in total revenues, a market research organization said yesterday.

Total revenue for the contract makers reached an estimated US$57.3 billion last year, the semiofficial Institute for Information Industry (資策會) said in a report.

However, it said, the figure could drop between 3 percent and 5 percent this year as makers cut prices because of the global economic downturn.

Taiwanese contract makers produce 90 percent of the world’s laptops.

They produce laptops for leading foreign makers, such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sony and Toshiba, as well as Taiwanese computer firms including Acer Inc. The makers use their extensive assembly lines in China to cut production costs.

“It will be a tough year for the Taiwanese contract makers,” said Wei Chuan-chian, an analyst with the institute. “Computer firms from Japan to the US have turned conservative amid the recession.”

Taiwanese companies will strive to further cut costs or improve their technological expertise, Wei said.

Software park growing

The Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Export Processing Zone Administration said on Monday it granted permission to 79 companies to set up shop in the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park (高雄軟體科技園區) last year, with a combined investment of NT$2.27 billion.

Administration officials said they would continue to invite more software companies to enter the park, strengthening its identity as a unique venue for research and development in creative technology industries.

They said the most prominent of the 79 companies that received the green light to move into the park was Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團), whose chairman, Terry Gou (郭台銘), has promised to invest at least NT$1 billion to create 3,000 jobs for software engineers in five years.

Hon Hai has set a target of hiring 500 software engineers by May.

The Institute for Information Industry also moved into the park, with a plan to invest NT$400 million over five years to set up a technology incubation center.

The officials said that the institute’s presence is expected to draw more software companies to use the park as its development base, which will help strike a balance between the northern and southern parts of the country in terms of technological development.

NT gains on greenback

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday further rose NT$0.029 to close at NT$33.720 against the greenback on turnover of US$834 million.

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