Thu, Feb 12, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares up 1.1 percent

Share prices closed 1.1 percent higher yesterday on bargain hunting despite an overnight sharp fall on Wall Street, dealers said.

The weighted index rose 49.85 points at 4,575.95 on turnover of NT$74.31 billion (US$2.2 billion).

Advancers outnumbered losers 791 to 753, while 229 shares remained unchanged.

The market opened low but bargain hunting investors stepped in, leading share prices to recover the early loss touched off by the sharp fall on Wall Street.

“Recent investor conferences by electronics bellweather companies such as HTC Corp (宏達電) and MediaTek Inc (聯發科) may have reassured investors that the worst may be over,” said Mars Hsu of Grand Cathay Securities (大華證券). “Any positive results were reflected by higher share prices.”

Uni-President fined

The Fair Trade Commission yesterday imposed a fine of NT$500,000 on Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業), the nation’s largest food company, for failing to report its acquisition of half of the board seats of rival instant noodles producer Wei Lih Food Industrial Co (維力食品).

Uni-President gained three director seats and one supervisor seat during the re-election of Wei Lih’s board on Oct. 7 and also appointed its executive president Alex Lo (羅智先) to serve as Wei Lih’s chairman. As the move would enable Uni-President to influence its rival’s major decisions, while also eliminating competition in the market, Uni-President was required by law to submit its merger plan to the commission, but failed to do so, the commission said.

Fubon acquires ING Antai

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), the nation’s second-largest financial services firm by market value, yesterday carried out the acquisition of ING Antai Life Insurance Co (安泰人壽) through stock swaps as agreed on last October, a company statement said.

Fubon Financial Co chairman Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠) hailed the acquisition that lifted Fubon Life Assurance Co (富邦人壽) to the second-largest in Taiwan by premium worth, the statement said.

Fubon Financial struck a deal with ING Antai in October to acquire the latter for US$600 million, to be paid through trading 5 percent of Fubon stock and the rest in cash.

The transaction increased Fubon Financial’s assets to NT$2.6 trillion and its customers by 2.27 million, the statement said.

Government sells bonds

The government sold NT$30 billion in 20-year bonds at a yield of 2.210 percent, higher than the rate of return at the last auction of comparable debt.

The yield in the previous sale on Nov. 25 was 2.150 percent. The auction yesterday drew bids equal to 1.95 times the amount of debt on offer, compared with 1.13 times at the prior sale, according a central bank statement.

Mega expects high profits

Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控), the nation’s second-largest financial services company, said it aims to make more than NT$14 billion in profit this year, double what it earned last year.

Chairman Wang Rong-jou (王榮周) set the target on Tuesday after posting net income for last month of NT$1.2 billion, compared with a loss of NT$2.3 billion a year ago. Taipei-based Mega Financial had full-year net income of about NT$700 million last year, dragged down by NT$12.6 billion in foreign exchange losses.

But Mega Financial decided to put on hold plans to sell a 13.44 percent stake in Taiwan Business Bank (台灣企銀), partly because of the falling share price of the lender, and as it evaluates other options, Wang said.

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