Fri, Nov 04, 2011 - Page 11 News List

[ BUSINESS BRIEFS ]

Staff Writer, with agencies

TAIEX drops 1.82%

Taiwan’s stock market plunged yesterday as sentiment was damped by lingering concerns over the debt problems in Europe, dealers said.

Investors turned very cautious and rushed to dump large-cap stocks to prevent further losses before the Greek parliament votes today on whether to hold a referendum on the relief measures hammered out recently by European leaders, dealers said.

The TAIEX closed down 138.14 points or 1.82 percent at the day’s low of 7,460.31, off a high of 7,603.45, on turnover of NT$101.68 billion (US$3.36 billion).

The financial sector suffered the heaviest losses among the eight largest sectors in the market, finishing down 3.1 percent, on fears that banks’ profitability would be eroded by their exposure to the debt in the eurozone.

Fubon Financial Holding Co’s (富邦金控) shares closed down 3.95 percent at NT$32.85 and those of Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) fell 3.90 percent to NT$33.25.

CSC’s pretax profits plunge

China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼), the nation’s largest steelmaker, yesterday said its pretax profits fell 45.51 percent from a year earlier to NT$1.11 billion last month.

Last month’s figure was 26.58 percent lower than September’s, according to the company’s stock exchange filing yesterday and from previous financial statements.

Revenue fell 2.21 percent to NT$19.6 billion last month from a year earlier, the filing said. The figure was down 4.4 percent from September’s, company data showed.

In the first 10 months of the year, the company’s pretax profit totaled NT$23.81 billion, or NT$1.58 in earnings per share, based on the 15.04 billion shares the company has in issue.

That was far lower than the NT$39.98 billion, or NT$2.95 in earnings per share, CSC made in the same period of last year.

Revenue totaled NT$201.6 billion over the same period, up 1.56 percent from NT$198.51 billion last year, it said.

Cathay gets Cambodian branch

Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行), the banking arm of Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), received regulatory approval to form a branch in Cambodia’s Phnom Penh city, the Financial Supervisory Commission said in a statement yesterday.

The two other Taiwanese banks now operating in Cambodia are First Financial Holding Co’s (第一金控) First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) and Mega Financial Holding Co’s (兆豐金控) Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐國際商銀), the statement said.

Meanwhile, the commission said it would allow Taiwanese commercial banks’ overseas branches to invest in stocks and bonds issued by the Chinese government or companies, according to a separate statement.

NT dollar dips again

The New Taiwan dollar fell for a fourth day, the longest losing streak in a month, after global funds cut holdings of Taiwanese stocks on concern a global slowdown will hurt exports.

The NT dollar fell 0.3 percent to NT$30.220 against its US counterpart, according to Taipei Forex Inc. The currency has lost 1.2 percent this week and touched NT$30.24 yesterday, the weakest level since Oct. 24.

Overseas investors sold US$262 million more Taiwanese shares than they bought yesterday, according to Taiwan Stock Exchange data.

“There’s a lot of bad news coming from both Taiwan and overseas that point to a slowing global economy,” said Tarsicio Tong (湯健揚), a Taipei-based currency trader at Union Bank of Taiwan (聯邦銀行).

“Maintaining the Taiwan dollar’s stability is one big objective of the central bank,” he said.

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