Thu, Apr 15, 2010 - Page 11 News List

[BUSINESS BRIEFS]

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares close higher

Share prices closed higher yesterday, with the TAIEX index moving up 67.4 points, or 0.83 percent, to close at 8,097.13.

The local bourse opened at 8,077.97 and fluctuated between 8,040.01 and 8,102.38 during the day’s trading. Market turnover totaled NT$98.04 billion (US$3.12 billion).

Gainers outnumbered losers 1,894 to 1,139, with 338 stocks remaining unchanged.

Foreign investors and Chinese qualified domestic institutional investors were net buyers of NT$5.99 billion in shares.

Lush to close doors

Consumers yesterday flocked to the Lush outlet on Zhongxiao E Road, fighting to grab their favorite handmade soaps, shower gels or facial masks at a 50 percent discount, as the local franchisee is closing all 28 outlets in Taiwan because of financial issues.

Lush, which entered the local market in 2001 on a franchising model, is a British brand touting fresh handmade cosmetics and has around 350 shops around the world, its Web site said.

Its franchisee in Taiwan is reportedly facing huge debts and is apparently on the run, telling company staff to sell off remaining products to recover their pay.

Company staff, who didn’t get their pay last month, sold products at half price yesterday to generate money for their salaries.

IT spending to rise 5.3%

Global spending on information technology will increase 5.3 percent to US$3.4 trillion this year, led by individual and household purchases, Gartner Inc said.

In constant currency, the growth will be 1.6 percent, the market research firm said in an e-mailed statement on Monday.

Mobile personal computers will drive hardware spending, which is predicted to climb to US$353 billion, up 5.7 percent from last year, Gartner said.

Business hardware spending is projected to remain below 2008 levels through 2014, the research firm said.

President profits up 15.3%

President Chain Store Corp. (統一超商), which operates the 7-Eleven convenience store chain in Taiwan, said yesterday its net profit last year rose 15.3 percent to NT$4.06 billion, or NT$3.90 a share, from NT$3.52 billion, or NT$3.38 a share, in 2008.

Revenue slipped 0.4 percent to NT$101.76 billion from NT$102.19 billion, the company said.

China raises fuel prices

China yesterday raised fuel prices for the first time in five months, showing Beijing’s confidence it can control inflation, ahead of the release of data expected to show rapid growth accelerated in the first quarter of the year.

Observers are watching whether growth and inflation data due out today show a need for drastic action to prevent overheating.

The price hikes of 4 percent to 4.5 percent for gasoline, diesel and other fuels, the first since November, were in line with expectations.

NT rises against dollar

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday rose the most in five weeks on speculation China will soon let the yuan resume appreciation.

The NT dollar rose 0.4 percent to NT$31.460 against its US counterpart as of the 4pm close, Taipei Forex Inc said. That was the biggest gain since March 8.

The currency reached as high as NT$31.419, the strongest level since Aug. 25, 2008.

“There’re funds coming into the stocks,” said Henry Lin, a currency trader a Taiwan Shin Kong Commercial Bank (新光銀行). “With the bets on yuan appreciation, money is flowing to Asian currencies.”

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