Wed, Mar 09, 2011 - Page 11 News List

[ BUSINESS BRIEFS ]

Staff Writer, with Agencies

TAIEX closes higher

The TAIEX closed 0.39 percent higher yesterday, buoyed by energy conservation stocks and a rebound in construction shares, dealers said.

The TAIEX closed 33.96 points higher to end at 8,747.75, after moving between 8,692.10 and 8,768.31, on turnover of NT$110.999 billion (US$3.774 billion).

Energy-saving stocks, particularly LED firms, propped up the bourse on the back of higher international oil prices, analysts said.

A total of 1,869 stocks closed up, 2,210 were down and 506 remained unchanged.

Towel probe planned

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced yesterday it would start a six-month investigation into alleged anti-dumping practices by Chinese towel makers.

The ministry’s tariff committee has levied a 204.1 percent anti-dumping tax on imported China-made towels since June 2006, the ministry’s data showed.

“Since the proposed five-year levy period is going to end in June, we have accepted local towel makers’ suggestion to investigate the necessity of continuing the levy,” a tariff committee official said.

The MOF is to finish the investigation by Sept. 8 and notify the Ministry of Economic Affairs. It will then conduct a second-round investigation by Nov. 8. The MOF will make a final decision by Nov. 18 based on all of the investigation results.

If the MOF decides to keep the levy and a 10.5 percent tariff on towels, Chinese towel makers will have to pay NT$214.6 of duty for every NT$100 of export, on a CIF (cost, insurance and freight) basis.

Steel firms deny merger

Both China Steel Corp (中鋼) and Chung Hung Steel Corp (中鴻) yesterday denied they were in merger talks in order to increase production and lower costs, the two companies said in separate stock exchange filings.

China Steel, the nation’s top steel maker, owns about a 40 percent share of Chung Hung.

The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) reported yesterday that China Steel was considering merging Chung Hung via a share swap and hoped to complete the deal by the end of June.

Meanwhile, China Steel executive vice president David Du (杜金陵) told Bloomberg yesterday that the company expected demand for the alloy to increase in the second quarter from the previous three months because of rising usage in China.

Medical tourism grows

Taiwan will continue to promote medical tourism among Chinese visitors to build on a developing trend, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) said yesterday.

So far this year, 13 groups of Chinese visitors have booked medical tours, and the trend is expected to continue with an average of five such groups per month, said Tsai Hsiu-chen (蔡秀珍), a section chief at TAITRA’s Service Industry Promotion Center, while accompanying a group of 32 Chinese officials from Mongolia who were having health checks at Kaohsiung’s Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital.

There is great market potential in Taiwan for cosmetology tours that involve non-invasive procedures, especially those carrying little risk of medical malpractice suits, according to Chung Chin-yuan (鍾金源), head of an association that promotes medical tourism.

The Chinese visitors were the third medical tour group this year from the Inner Mongolia region, Tsai said.

NT dollar falls

The New Taiwan dollar fell against the US dollar yesterday, down NT$0.011 to close at NT$29.437.

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