Thu, Feb 19, 2009 - Page 11 News List

[BUSINESS BRIEFS]

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

TAIEX gains despite concerns

Share prices edged up 0.15 percent yesterday despite concerns ahead of the release of figures expected to show the country fell into recession in the fourth quarter of last year, dealers said.

The TAIEX rose 6.59 points to 4,498.37 on turnover of NT$62.88 billion (US$1.82 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 987 to 577, while 222 stocks remained unchanged.

“The turnover shrank today as investors were keeping an eye on the fourth quarter gross domestic production growth figures” to be released later in the day, said Allen Lin of Concord Securities (康和證券).

However, the heavily weighted electronics sector was stable on the NT dollar’s sharp depreciation.

“The weak Taiwan dollar would make locally manufactured goods cheaper overseas and accordingly be helpful to the export sector,” Lin said.

Fubon Financial to hire 250

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) said yesterday it plans to recruit 250 new hires in coming months, beefing up its direct telephone marketing subsidiary to a total of 750 employees.

It pays each telephone salesperson a base monthly salary of between NT$25,000 and NT$30,000, excluding performance-oriented bonuses, said Fred Juang (莊子明), president of Fubon Direct Marketing Consulting Co (富邦直效行銷), a subsidiary of Fubon Financial.

With outstanding performance, some telephone salespersons could earn more than NT$1 million per year, he said, adding that the top annual salary claimed by a star salesperson was NT$2 million.

After parent Fubon Financial earmarked a sales target of NT$1.6 billion this year, Juang said that he hopes his direct marketing arm could soon hire more staff.

Compal posts Q4 loss

Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦), the world’s second-largest maker of notebook computers, posted a 34 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit after demand declined because of the global recession.

Net income fell to NT$2.74 billion, the company said in a statement yesterday. Compal reported profit of NT$4.15 billion a year earlier. The earnings matched the NT$2.66 billion median of three analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Taipei-based Compal, supplier to Hewlett-Packard Co and Acer Inc, missed its forecast for shipments last year after demand dropped in the fourth quarter because of the global recession. On Jan. 10, Compal lowered its shipment outlook for this year to as few as 32 million computers from an earlier prediction of 35 million.

Czechs choose Green Energy

Green Energy Technology Inc (綠能科技), Taiwan’s second-largest maker of solar silicon wafers won a 4.2 million euro (US$5.3 million) order to supply thin-film solar modules to the Czech Republic this year, the company said in a statement.

NT dollar plummets

The New Taiwan dollar dropped to the lowest level in more than five years on speculation a government report would show the economy contracted at a record pace in the fourth quarter.

The NT dollar fell to NT$34.65 versus the greenback as of the 4pm close, from NT$34.62 on Tuesday, Taipei Forex Inc said. It earlier touched NT$34.682, the lowest level since June 2003.

The local currency will weaken to NT$35.50 by the end of the second quarter, said Mitul Kotecha, Hong Kong-based head of global foreign-exchange strategy at Calyon, the investment-banking unit of French bank Credit Agricole SA.

The local currency slumped for a 10th day versus the US dollar, its longest losing streak in six months, before the DGBAS report.

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