Fri, Feb 27, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

TAIEX gains ground

The TAIEX rose 0.55 percent yesterday as activity in small caps offset losses in large cap companies, dealers said.

The weighted index finished up 24.82 points at 4,518.56 on turnover of NT$58.83 billion (US$1.7 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 802 to 715, while 284 stocks remained unchanged.

Non-performing loans decline

The non-performing loan ratio of credit card lending continued to decrease to 1.51 percent last month, down 0.08 percentage points from a month ago and 0.34 percentage points from a year earlier, statistics released by the Financial Supervisory Commission yesterday showed.

The number of cards in circulation last month also shrank to 33.36 million, a 7.7 percent year-on-year decline, while the outstanding amount of revolving credit dropped NT$1.4 billion, or 0.55 percent from the previous month, to NT$252.3 billion, the statistics showed.

Meanwhile, the bad loan ratio on cash card lending last month slid by 0.087 percentage points month-on-month to 3.499 percent, the commission’s data showed.

The number of activated cash cards dropped 1.8 percent month-on-month to 1.09 million, while outstanding lending plunged 30.1 percent from a year earlier to NT$84.3 billion last month, it said.

First Bank’s NPL rising: official

The non-performing loan ratio (NPL) at First Commercial Bank (第一銀行), a wholly owned banking unit of First Financial Holding Co (第一金控), is likely to rise to 1.8 percent by the end of the year, from 1.45 percent at the end of last year, Dow Jones Newswires reported yesterday, citing Annie Lee (李淑玲), deputy head of First Financial’s strategy and planning division.

For the whole of this year, First Bank’s total NPL could reach between NT$9 billion and NT$10 billion because of the economic downturn, Lee told Dow Jones.

IDC slashes prediction

Industry tracker IDC on Wednesday slashed its projection of global spending on information technology, saying it expected the figure to edge up 0.5 percent this year because of the economic downturn.

IDC backed off a November prediction that global spending would grow 2.6 percent this year and said that if exchange rate trends continued, US technology exporters would take financial beatings.

“The sharp economic downturn which began in 2007 is now affecting consumer and IT spending in a significant way,” IDC said in a press release.

IDC expects the semiconductor market to plunge 22 percent this year after sliding 2 percent last year. The “abrupt slowdown” in chip shipments is likely to affect Asia, Europe and the US, IDC said.

The worldwide semiconductor market will not recover until next year, it said.

Manufacturing sales shrink

The sales volume of the manufacturing sector shrank to NT$2.36 trillion in the fourth quarter of last year, marking a year-on-year drop of 29.39 percent because of the worldwide economic downturn, statistics released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs on Wednesday showed.

In the fourth quarter, domestic sales fell 30.67 percent from the same period the previous year to NT$1.14 trillion, while export sales dropped 28.15 percent to NT$1.22 trillion.

The accumulated sales volume of the manufacturing sector fell to NT$12.06 trillion last year, down 2.46 percent year-on-year.

NT dollar closes lower

The New Taiwan dollar lost ground against the greenback on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, sliding NT$0.103 to close at NT$34.850. Turnover was US$765 million.

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