Tue, Nov 09, 2010 - Page 11 News List

[ BUSINESS BRIEFS ]

Staff writer, with agencies

TAIEX closes down 0.22 percent

Taiwan’s benchmark index closed down 0.22 percent yesterday after a seesaw session between continued purchases of old-economy stocks and selling in the high-tech sector ahead of releases of last month’s sales by bellwether electronics firms, dealers said.

The TAIEX fell 18.76 points to 8,430.58, after moving between 8,416.20 and 8,473.66, on turnover of NT$132.34 billion (US$4.38 billion).

The market opened up 0.29 percent and moved in a narrow range throughout the trading session. A total of 2,478 stocks closed down and 1,701 were up, with 242 remaining unchanged.

Gourmet Master to launch IPO

The Cayman Islands-registered Gourmet Master Co (美食達人), owner of Taiwan’s largest coffee-shop chain, 85oC, plans to increase its China outlets to 1,000 by 2015, after raising funds in an initial public offering (IPO) in Taipei.

Gourmet Master, whose stores outnumber Starbucks Corp’s in Taiwan, plans to increase its stores in China more than sixfold by opening outlets in cities including Shenzhen, Fujian, Chengdu and Wuhan, chairman Wu Cheng-hsueh (吳政學) said in a phone interview yesterday.

The restaurant chain operator, which has about 150 wholly owned stores in China, could raise as much as NT$2.57 billion in an IPO. It will invite investors to start bidding today for its stock in the range of NT$150 to NT$180 per share and plans to start trading on the Taiwan Stock Exchange by the end of this month.

Quanta, Wistron sales drop

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), the world’s largest notebook contract maker by revenue, yesterday posted sales of NT$90.1 billion for last month, a decline of 6.8 percent from a month earlier but was up 4.8 percent from the corresponding month last year.

Total revenue for the first 10 months expanded 47.5 percent to NT$895.6 billion. The company shipped 4.5 million laptop computers last month, down from the record 5 million in September.

The company shipped a total of 42.2 million notebooks from January to last month, still about 8 million below the whole-year target of 50 million.

Smaller rival Wistron Corp (緯創), meanwhile, posted sales of NT$52.9 billion last month, a drop of 14 percent from a month earlier and down 0.6 percent from same month last year.

Cumulative sales for the first 10 months were NT$507.3 billion, up 15.5 percent from last year, Wistron said in a company statement.

Wistron said earlier that it expected to ship 27.5 million laptop computers this year, with next year’s shipments hitting 35 million to 37 million.

Manulife denies exit plan

Manulife Financial Corp said yesterday that it had no plan to exit Taiwan’s life insurance market, denying a report by the Chinese-language Apple Daily that said the Toronto-based company was looking for a possible buyer for Manulife Insurance Co (宏利人壽).

In a statement posted on Manulife Insurance’s Web site, senior executive vice president and general manager of Manulife Financial Robert Cook said that Taiwan is an indispensable part of the company’s operations in Asia and one of the fastest-growing business within the group.

NT dollar edges down

The New Taiwan dollar fell against the US dollar yesterday, down NT$0.076 to close at NT$30.636.

The NT dollar extended its momentum against the US dollar in morning trade, but the central bank made its presence felt in late trading reversing early gains posted by the local currency, dealers said.

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