Fri, Apr 30, 2010 - Page 11 News List

[BUSINESS BRIEFS]

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

TAIEX shares close down

Share prices were down yesterday, with the TAIEX falling 27.5 points, or 0.34 percent, to close at 8,054.05.

The local bourse opened at the day’s low of 8,105.96 and fluctuated between 8,107.36 and 8,053.02. A total of 4.65 billion shares changed hands on market turnover of NT$132.64 billion (US$4.22 billion).

Gainers outnumbered losers 1,649 to 1480, with 319 stocks remaining unchanged.

Foreign investors and Chinese qualified domestic institutional investors were net sellers of NT$4.61 billion in shares.

China Steel returns to profit

China Steel Corp (中鋼), Taiwan’s largest steel producer, returned to profit in the first quarter on increasing prices amid the global economic recovery.

Net income was NT$11.07 billion, or NT$0.86 per share, in the three months ending on March 31, compared with a loss of NT$7.18 billion, or NT$0.57 per share, a year earlier, the Kaohsiung-based company said yesterday in a stock exchange filing. The profit beat the NT$10.7 billion median of eight analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

First-quarter sales rose 45.46 percent from a year earlier to NT$53.24 billion, the company said on April 8.

Standards blamed for exits

Moody’s Investors Service said yesterday in a report that an important consideration in the exit of foreign life insurance companies from Taiwan over the past two years is accounting differences between domestic and foreign players related to interest rate assumptions used to estimate policy reserves.

However, this distinction may well fade as accounting standards converge over the next few years.

“From an economic standpoint, the interest rate used for ­estimating insurers’ liability should be based on the expected return on assets backing those liabilities. Taiwanese accounting standards currently provide some leniency regarding the interest rate used for policies sold prior to 2001,” said Sally Yim, a Moody’s vice president and senior analyst and author of the report.

Fixed telecoms to get cheaper

Starting next year, those calling from fixed telecoms network services to mobile phone networks will be charged at cheaper rates, the National Communications Commission said on Wednesday.

Currently, when a call is made from a regular home phone to a mobile phone, the rate is set by the mobile phone operators. People calling from a regular phone to a second-generation (2G) service mobile phone would have to pay from NT$5.163 to NT$6.6 per minute during non-discount hours. Those calling to third-generation (3G) mobile phone networks, on the other hand, would be paying NT$6 to NT$6.6 per minute.

The commission said that starting on Jan. 1, the rate would be determined by telecoms service operators from the callers’ ends, rather than by those of the receivers’ ends, while the rate for the 2G service would be NT$5.163, and 3G would be NT$2.5812.

Brazil increases interest rate

Brazil’s Central Bank has increased a key interest rate to 9.5 percent. Its benchmark Selic rate had stood at the record low of 8.75 percent since July last year.

The move on Wednesday reflects worries that Brazil’s economy is expanding too rapidly and that inflation will spike as a result.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low of 2.5 percent yesterday, the eighth successive review to hold the rate steady as the economy continues a sluggish recovery from an 18-month recession.

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