Wed, Jan 19, 2011 - Page 11 News List

[ BUSINESS BRIEFS ]

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Potential rate hike spurs TAIEX

The TAIEX closed up 0.70 percent yesterday, led by the financial sector on hopes that rising interest rates would widen interest rate spreads and boost banks’ earnings, dealers said.

The index rose 62.91 points to close at 8,988, after moving between 8,887.03 and 9,003.45, on turnover of NT$129.19 billion (US$4.45 billion).

The market opened down 0.39 percent and moved to the day’s low on follow-through selling from the previous session, but bargain hunting emerged.

A total of 2,339 stocks closed up, 1,978 finished down and 426 were unchanged.

Epistar to sell five-year bonds

Epistar Corp (晶電) plans to sell as much as US$280 million in five-year convertible bonds, a person familiar with the matter said, adding that the sale could push through by yesterday.

Barclays PLC is managing the sale of the zero-coupon bonds, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details were private.

Investors can hand the notes over for stock if Epistar’s shares rise between about 25 percent and 30 percent, the person said.

Investors have the right to sell the bonds back to the company after three years, the person said.

Yieh Phui to invest NT$500m

Yieh Phui Enterprise Co (燁輝), the nation’s largest manufacturer of galvanized steel, approved a plan to invest NT$500 million in a steel unit, the company said in a statement to the stock exchange yesterday.

Hua Nan plans China bases

Hua Nan Financial Holdings Co (華南金控) said on Monday it was planning to set up three bases in China over the next three years.

Aside from establishing its first base in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, Hua Nan Financial chairman Wang Rong-jou (王榮周) said the company was looking at the Yangtze River Delta, Fujian Province, Bohai Bay and Sichuan Province as possible locations for the two other bases.

Wang said Hua Nan would likely finalize the location of the second base by the end of next year. He added that the company had made business expansion in China a priority in its development plans for the next five years.

Chunghwa buys equipment

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation’s largest telecom services operator, bought NT$530 million worth of network equipment from Taiwan International Standard Electronics Ltd (台灣國際標準電子) yesterday, the company said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Some herbal drugs unsafe

Eleven out of 144 samples of Chinese herbal medicines tested by China Medical University last year failed to pass safety checks, an expert said yesterday.

Among the 11 samples, six were found to contain steroids, two contained heavy metals and mercury was detected in one of the samples, assistant professor Yu Chien-chih (余建志) said.

About 90 percent of the ingredients in Chinese herbal medicines sold in Taiwan is imported from China, amounting to 4.4 tonnes per year, Yu said.

As such, the safety of Chinese medicines was one of the most important aspects of the medical cooperation pact that Taiwan signed last year with China, Yu said.

He advised people to exercise caution when buying Chinese medicine, choosing those that carry the GMP safety logo and consulting a qualified doctor before taking the medicine.

Residues of heavy metals and pesticides could cause anemia, acute renal failure and problems in the nervous and digestive systems, Yu said.

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