Thu, Jul 30, 2009 - Page 11 News List

[BUSINESS BRIEFS]

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares close lower

Taiwanese shares fell 0.83 percent yesterday on profit-taking after a Wall Street decline, dealers said.

The TAIEX index dropped 59 points to 7,083.63 on turnover of NT$161.7 billion (US$4.92 billion).

Losers outnumbered gainers 1,368 to 1,011, while 169 shares remained unchanged.

The market opened high but selling pressure from profit-taking soon emerged, pulling the market into negative territory for most of the trading session.

“Wall Street’s overnight fall added pressure to the Taiwan stock market after it hit a one-year high yesterday [Tuesday],” said Michael Yeh (葉泰宏) of Taiwan Life Asset Management Co (台壽保投信).

But Yeh did not expect much downside risk over the short term, given the generally positive results released by the major tech firms during their investor conferences.

Cardif links with Hua Nan bank

Cardif Assurance Vie’s Taiwan branch (法國巴黎人壽) yesterday formed a partnership with Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行), a subsidiary of Hua Nan Financial Holdings Co (華南金控), to jointly expand bancassurance business.

Hua Nan will begin sales of Cardif’s mortgage life insurance products and investment-linked policies in the second half of this year while exploring closer cooperation in product marketing and developing insurance expertise to boost earnings, the company said.

“After witnessing Hua Nan’s potential in insurance businesses, we hope the partnership will create room for closer cooperation between both parties while striking a win-win situation for both of our clients,” the life insurer’s general manager, Ben Ng (黃旗興), said in the statement.

Cardif Assurance has formed sales partnerships with more than 30 banks in Taiwan, it added.

LNG purchases fall

Taiwan, North Asia’s third-biggest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), reduced its purchases of the fuel for a seventh month as electricity demand dropped.

Taiwan bought 1.62 million kiloliters, or 736,400 tonnes, last month, about 8 percent less than a year earlier, data from the Bureau of Energy showed yesterday. It paid US$336.5 million, or US$457 a tonne, for the fuel. LNG imports rose, compared with purchases of 1.58 million kiloliters in May.

Biotechnology receives funds

The National Development Fund (國發基金) has allotted NT$24 billion (US$732 million), including NT$6 billion for next year, to invest in the biotechnology industry in the coming years, executive secretary Hsiao Kuo-hui (蕭國輝) said on Tuesday after a Cabinet meeting.

In addition to the budget, the Cabinet expects to attract non-government investment worth up to NT$36 billion, Hsiao said.

The meeting also drafted regulations for government investment in biotechnology, such as allowing no more than NT$3 billion to be invested in a single corporation and forbidding investment in more than three venture capital firms under a single business group.

NT dollar retreats from high

The New Taiwan dollar retreated from its strongest level in almost four weeks on speculation that the central bank intervened to help combat a 10-month slide in exports.

The NT dollar dropped 0.4 percent to NT$32.87 versus the greenback at the 4pm close, according to Taipei Forex Inc. It touched NT$32.68 earlier in the day, the highest level since July 2.

“The central bank has been buying and intervening to keep it stable,” said Leong Wai Ho (梁偉豪), a Singapore-based economist at Barclays Capital. “The central bank will probably wait for more signs that domestic demand is picking up before it allows the Taiwan dollar to reflect fundamentals.”

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