Sat, Apr 09, 2011 - Page 11 News List

[ BUSINESS BRIEFS ]

Staff Writer, WITH Agencies

TAIEX rally hits a snag

The TAIEX closed marginally lower yesterday after rallying for six consecutive sessions, dragged down by the weak performance of electronics and petrochemical shares, dealers said.

The index opened slightly lower at 8,898.69 points and fluctuated between 8,862.49 and 8,929.06 before closing down 7.18 points, or 0.08 percent, at 8,894.54 on turnover of NT$127.98 billion (US$4.41 billion).

Tourism stocks outperformed on reports that Taiwan would soon open the market to independent Chinese tourists.

Among the eight major stock categories, cement posted the biggest gain of 1.9 percent amid strong demand in China.

A total of 2,235 stocks closed up, 2,103 finished down and 611 were unchanged.

No forex limits: central bank

The central bank yesterday denied a news report that it was restricting banks from buying and selling New Taiwan dollars and US dollars in the foreign exchange market.

Foreign exchange banks are mindful of restrictions imposed by the central bank, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported yesterday, without saying where it got the information.

The central bank said the report was misleading and resent a Feb. 9 press statement that said 37 banks conducted currency forwards valued at US$1.2 billion, and eight local banks did non-deliverable forwards transactions on Feb. 8.

Separately, the central bank sold NT$100 billion in 364-day certificates of deposit at an average interest rate of 0.935 percent at an auction yesterday.

Bank promises quick service

Standard Chartered Bank on Thursday introduced a new service pledge whereby the foreign lender promises to serve all customers in eight minutes or it will donate NT$5 for each delayed case.

Steve Bertamini, chief executive of global consumer banking, said the new service pledge reflected the bank’s resolve to strengthen its presence in Taiwan and outperform its peers.

Bertamini was in Taipei on Thursday to inaugurate the bank’s 90th branch.

Taiwan is one of the top five markets for the London-based bank in terms of global consumer banking business, he said.

“We still see growth opportunity although the market here is well developed,” he said.

Trade mission attracts business

A Taiwanese trade mission generated an estimated US$15.82 million in potential business during a recent visit to Hungary, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會) said yesterday.

The mission, led by TAITRA vice chairman Wu Wen-ya (吳文雅), included representatives of 56 Taiwanese manufacturers of information and communications products, hand tools, hardware, machinery, textiles, and electronic parts and components.

The delegates held 640 one-on-one sessions with 218 Hungarian buyers during a trade event on Tuesday in Budapest — the first leg of the mission’s tour through central and eastern Europe that will also take it to Russia, Belarus and Turkey, TAITRA said.

The delegation received US$3.17 million in orders on the spot and an estimated US$12.65 million in potential orders over the next year, TAITRA said.

Energy consumption up 3.7%

Energy consumption in February rose 3.7 percent from a year earlier, the Energy Bureau said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

Coal imports increased 14 percent to 5.11 million tonnes, while imports of liquefied natural gas climbed 30 percent to 950 million cubic meters, the bureau said.

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