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.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
STAYING AHEAD: TSMC expects its sales this year to grow 14 to 19 percent and could spend up to US$3.52 billion on research and development, leaving its rivals far behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) reported that the US last year approved 99 percent of its patent applications, which placed the tech giant among the top patent holders in the US. In its Corporate Social Responsibility Report, TSMC said it last year secured about 3,600 patents worldwide, including more than 2,300 in the US. As of the end of last year, TSMC owned more than 39,000 patents, the report said. The company last year filed almost 6,500 patent applications worldwide and ranked among the top 10 patent applicants in the US. In Taiwan, it was the largest patent applicant for the fourth