TAIEX inches up on caution
Taiwan’s benchmark index closed up 0.43 percent yesterday as investors remained cautious before a central bank meeting that was widely expected to raise interest rates and before a four-day holiday starting tomorrow.
The TAIEX closed 36.99 points higher, ending at 8,683.30, after moving between 8,608.05 and 8,685.44, on turnover of NT$106.587 billion (US$3.61 billion).
A total of 1,945 stocks closed up, 2,123 finished down and 593 remained unchanged.
Hon Hai shares fall 1.44%
Shares of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, fell 1.44 percent to close at NT$103 per share yesterday, a day after its Chinese subsidiary reported US$218.3 million in net losses for last year, compared with a net profit of US$38.6 million in 2009.
Shares of Foxconn International Holding Ltd (富士康控股) slumped 4.5 percent to HK$4.67 in Hong Kong trading.
Bad loan ratio sets new low
The nation’s non-performing loan ratio slid to a new low of 0.58 percent at the end of February, from 0.59 percent in January, the Financial Supervisory Commission said yesterday.
Total bad loans were NT$118.6 billion at the end of February, falling NT$500 million from the previous month, the commission said.
None of the nation’s 37 domestic lenders had a bad loan ratio above 2 percent of their overall lending, raising their average coverage ratio 3.11 percentage points to 162.31 percent at the end of last month, according to the commission.
New York Life to stay in Taiwan
New York Life Insurance Taiwan Corp (國際紐約人壽) said yesterday there was room for business growth in Taiwan, adding that it aimed to maintain its presence in the Taiwan market.
The insurer made the clarification in response to recent Chinese-language media reports that several domestic financial firms, including Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控), plan to bid for it.
“The report is inaccurate,” said Gillian Chen (陳穎勳), senior manager at the company’s corporate communications department. “The market has growth potential that remains untapped.”
In July last year, its US parent reportedly planned to sell units in Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea for US$70 million on concerns over development constraints.
Starbucks to offer instant coffee
Starbucks’ VIA branded instant soluble coffees will come to the Greater China region starting on Wednesday.
The company will offer Colombia and Italian Roast-flavored VIA coffees in all 239 Starbucks outlets in Taiwan.
The single-serve coffee sachets are expected to contribute 2 percent of Starbucks’ total revenue in Taiwan this year, President Starbucks Coffee Corp (統一星巴克) president John Hsu (徐光宇) told a press conference yesterday.
Wan Hai to sell off bonds
Wan Hai Lines Ltd (萬海航運) plans to sell as much as NT$12 billion in bonds to help raise working capital, repay bank loans and purchase containers and ships, the Taipei-based company said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.
The notes will have maturity of no more than seven years, according to the statement.
NT rises against US dollar
The New Taiwan dollar gained ground against the US dollar yesterday, rising NT$0.092 to close at NT$29.418.
Turnover totaled US$773 million during the trading session.