Sat, Feb 28, 2009 - Page 11 News List

[BUSINESS BRIEFS]

AGENCIES

Bargain-hunting boosts TAIEX

Share prices closed up 0.85 percent yesterday as bargain hunters bought into the bellwether electronics sector, shrugging off a fall on Wall Street, dealers said.

The TAIEX rose 38.59 points to 4,557.15 on turnover of NT$68.85 billion (US$1.97 billion).

Gainers led losers by 1,132 to 454 with 245 stocks unchanged.

The market opened 0.11 percent higher despite the Wall Street weakness and the momentum extended until the end of the session amid adequate liquidity with investors targeting cheap high tech heavyweights, dealers said.

“Valuations of electronic stocks look very attractive after recent steep falls,” Mega Securities (兆豐證券) analyst Alex Huang (黃國偉) said.

“With interest rates at lows, long-term investors scrambled to seek buying opportunities in the capital market,” he said.

Huang said he suspected major shareholders of listed companies stood behind the upside ahead of annual general meetings scheduled by the end of June.

Several banks eyeing Chinfon

Standard Chartered Plc is among bidders for troubled Chinfon Bank (慶豐銀行), the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported yesterday, without saying where it got the information.

The government is auctioning Chinfon after seizing control of the bank last September.

Other interested parties include US private equity firm Olympus Partners, as well as Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫銀行) and Yuanta Financial Holding Co (元大金控), the paper said.

Mega writes off securities

Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控), the nation’s third-largest listed financial services company, said in an exchange filing yesterday that its banking unit wrote off US$6.7 million on the value of residential mortgage-backed securities.

Juice deal faces opposition

US beverage giant Coca-Cola is facing opposition from some of its board members over a bid to take over Huiyuan Juice Group (匯源果汁), a media report said yesterday, citing the Chinese drink company’s head.

“Coca-Cola said it was under rather big pressure as there was rising opposition from its board of directors,” said Huiyuan chairman Zhu Xinli (朱新禮), according to popular Chinese portal Sina.com.

However, Zhu said Coca-Cola had not changed the plan to buy into the Chinese juice producer, the report said.

China’s Commerce Ministry is conducting an anti-monopoly review of the deal, under which Coca-Cola would spend US$2.4 billion to buy Hong Kong-listed Huiyuan.

Zhu said the takeover plan covered only the listed arm of Huiyuan Group, did not include the Chinese firm’s fruit farms and would not affect its factories, of which there are more than 20, the Sina report said.

NT dollar hits five-year low

The New Taiwan dollar fell to the lowest level in more than five years on concern sliding exports and a shrinking economy will deter investment in the country’s assets.

The NT dollar fell to NT$34.95 versus the greenback as of the 4pm close, sliding 0.4 percent this week, Taipei Forex Inc said. It touched NT$35.008 yesterday, the lowest level since April 2003.

The local currency dropped 3.3 percent this month, the third-worst performance among the 10 most-active Asian currencies outside Japan, as unemployment rose to a seven-year high last month and export orders and industrial production plunged.

“In the short run, we think the downside risk is still there,” said Tomo Kinoshita, an economist at Nomura Holdings Inc in Hong Kong. “The degree of downturn in Asian economies has been surprisingly substantial.”

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