Shares close 0.08% higher
Taiwanese shares edged higher yesterday, with the weighted TAIEX index gaining 4.7 points, or 0.08 percent, to close at 5,886.11.
Buoyed by Wall Street’s rise overnight, the local bourse opened higher at 5,887.48 and rose to a high of 5,925.92 early in the session before falling back to as low as 5,856.13.
Gainers outnumbered losers 1,467 to 717, with 136 stocks remaining unchanged.
A total of 6.27 billion shares changed hands on market turnover of NT$135.47 billion (US$4 billion), with foreign investors selling a net NT$152 million in local stocks.
Fubon units buy CAL bonds
Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), the country’s second-biggest publicly traded financial services company, said its life insurance units had bought NT$2 billion (US$59 million) in China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) corporate bonds.
Fubon Life Assurance Co (富邦人壽) and ING Life Insurance Co (安泰人壽) each bought NT$1 billion of the debt, Fubon Financial said in stock exchange filings yesterday. Fubon completed the acquisition of ING Groep NV’s life insurance unit in Taiwan for US$600 million in February.
Ta Chong plans expansion
Ta Chong Bank Ltd (大眾銀行), partly owned by US private equity firm Carlyle Group, plans to acquire domestic lenders to expand in Taiwan.
“We only have 53 branches now and the acquisition can help us to boost our presence in Taiwan,” James Chiou (邱正光), a spokesman at the Taipei-based lender, said in a telephone interview yesterday.
The bank is in talks with three to four banks for a possible acquisition, Chiou said.
The Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported earlier yesterday that Ta Chong was seeking to acquire a bank or credit cooperative to increase its branches in Taiwan.
Asustek approves dividends
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), the world’s largest maker of computer motherboards, said yesterday that its board approved a proposal to distribute NT$2 cash dividends and 0.2 percent stock dividends per common share for last year’s performance.
The cash dividend yield was 4.7 percent, based on Asustek’s closing price of NT$42.5 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
The board also said it would pay NT$52.82 million to its board members and supervisors for last year, down 60 percent from 2007. The proposals are subject to shareholders’ approval on June 16.
The company has cut the salary for the vice president level and above by 30 percent after reporting a loss in the fourth quarter.
UK economy set to shrink 3.5%
The British economy is expected to shrink by 3.5 percent this year as public debt levels rise to a record £175 billion (US$255 billion), the government forecast yesterday.
Presenting the annual budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling acknowledged in parliament that Britain was facing the “deepest recession since the Second World War.”
Public sector net borrowing would amount to 12.4 percent of GDP this year and fall slightly to £173 billion next year, Darling said.
He expected the state deficit to be halved within four years and said the British economy would “grow again by the end of this year.”
NT dollar remains unchanged
The New Taiwan dollar remained unchanged against the greenback on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday at NT$33.860.
Turnover was US$666 million.