Tue, Feb 10, 2009 - Page 12 News List

GRETAI chairman confident of a rebound

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The nation’s over-the-counter GRETAI Securities Market is expected to rebound more than 50 percent by the summer in expectation of a recovering economy and rebounding demand for the nation’s major exports, a government official said yesterday.

The index of 541 stocks listed on the GRETAI may rally to more than 100 points by the end of June, GRETAI chairman Lu Daung-yen (呂東英) told reporters during a luncheon.

That will mean about a 56 percent jump from the index’s close of 64.22 points yesterday.

“We are seeing more positive signs ... The worst is coming to an end,” Lu said. “We are seeing a rise in new orders for local exporters and some companies starting to end the practice of unpaid leave.”

Lu said the recovery could be more marked after May.

The nation’s second-largest liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panel maker Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) told the Taipei Times that it had restored regular working hours at some production lines in order to cope with a rush of orders, primarily from Chinese customers.

Chi Mei yesterday posted a 50 percent year-on-year decline in last month’s sales to NT$11.2 billion (US$333 million), while bigger local rival AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) said last month’s sales shrank 72 percent to about NT$13.2 billion.

Late last month, AU Optronics told investors that operations would hopefully bounce back quarter-by-quarter after shipments for PC and TV flat panels declined another 20 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Capital outflow is also on the wane after the government made significant cuts to the inheritance tax rate, which helped divert money back into the local stock markets, Lu said.

Turnover slid to NT$9.27 billion on the GRETAI yesterday after hitting a key level of NT$10.028 billion on Friday.

Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp chairman Schive Chi (薛琦) said the turnover on the TAIEX would also expand this quarter from the low levels seen in the fourth quarter of last year because of the global financial turmoil.

Blaming the financial recession, Lu said some overseas companies have postponed their listing on the GRETAI. He said the problem was also afflicting other exchanges around the world.

Last year, the firms had expressed their intention to debut their shares on the GRETAI and they would keep the listing as a priority, Lu said, citing the exchange’s low management fees and the high price-to-earnings ratios.

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