Exporters boost NT dollar
The New Taiwan dollar strengthened on speculation exporters were repatriating income ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday that begins today.
The NT dollar was 0.9 percent stronger one minute before the end of trading, but the gain was pared as the central bank bought US dollars, traders said. The local currency market will be closed from today through Monday.
“Exporters are selling the US dollar,” said Tarsicio Tong (湯健揚), a Taipei-based currency trader at Union Bank of Taiwan (聯邦銀行). “The market is basically open only for practical business purposes.”
The NT dollar closed 0.3 percent stronger at NT$29.2 against its US counterpart as of 4pm, according to Taipei Forex Inc. The currency reached NT$29 on Friday, its strongest level since October 1997.
Bourse fines Hon Hai
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s biggest electronics manufacturing service provider, was fined NT$100,000 for being late in disclosing its subsidiaries’ cancelation of a plan to purchase E-Ton Solar Tech Co (益通光能) shares, the Taiwan Stock Exchange said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
On Thursday, minutes after the opening of the local stock market, Hon Hai announced it had called off a plan to buy 202 million shares of E-Ton through a private placement, a plan it first announced two days previously, citing disagreements that arose during negotiations with E-Ton.
Taipower makes a loss
Four of five state-owned enterprises reported profits last year, with Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) being the only one in the red, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ State-Owned Enterprise Commission said in a statement.
The commission’s tally released on Monday showed that Taipower reported a pre-tax loss of NT$18.7 billion last year because of rising costs of liquefied natural gas and coal.
The other four companies — Taiwan Water Corp (台灣自來水), CPC Corp, Taiwan (中油), Taiwan Sugar Corp (台糖) and Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (漢翔航空) — reported a total of NT$38.2 billion in pre-tax earnings last year, with CPC the most profitable with NT$23.9 billion in earnings, the statement said.
Tangerines big in Singapore
Tangerines grown in Taichung have recently gained in popularity overseas, especially in Singapore, as exports to the southeastern Asian country have more than doubled this winter season, an agriculture official said on Monday.
A total of 414 tonnes of tangerines from Taichung have been exported to the city state this winter, compared with 198 tonnes during the 2009-2010 growing season, said Tsai Ching-chiang (蔡精強), the director of Taichung City’s Agriculture Bureau.
The exports to Singapore accounted for 57 percent of Taichung’s total tangerine exports, Tsai said.
Baidu profits almost triple
Chinese Web search engine Baidu (百度) said that its net profit nearly tripled in the fourth quarter, as it strengthened its grip on the Chinese market amid Google’s troubles with the authorities in Beijing.
The NASDAQ-listed Baidu said on Monday net profit rose 171.3 percent in the quarter to 1.16 billion yuan (US$176 million), while revenue was up 94.4 percent to 2.45 billion yuan.
Baidu said revenue increased 78 percent for the full year to 7.92 billion yuan, while net profit rose 137.4 percent to 3.53 billion yuan.
Samsung to offer PC refunds
Samsung Electronics Co will offer refunds on some personal computers and NEC Corp might delay the release of some PC models because of a design flaw in one of Intel Corp’s chipsets.