Fri, Dec 16, 2011 - Page 11 News List

[ BUSINESS BRIEFS ]

Staff Writer, with Agencies

TAIEX plunges at close

The TAIEX plunged yesterday to below the 6,800-point mark at the close, as investors took cues from the steep declines on Wall Street and on European markets, dumping their holdings on rising fears over the debt problems in the eurozone, dealers said.

The heavy losses suffered by other markets in the region also dampened investor sentiment in the local market, they added.

Selling focused on large cap stocks across the board, with investors trying to stop more losses amid fears that share prices would be further squeezed by political uncertainty over the Jan. 14 presidential election, dealers said.

The TAIEX closed down 157.98 points, or 2.28 percent, at the day’s low of 6,764.59, off a high of 6,874.18. Turnover totaled NT$66.66 billion (US$2.20 billion).

An-Shin appears resilient

Shares of An-Shin Food Services Co (安心食品), which operates the Mos Burger fast food chain in Taiwan, closed lower, but appeared resilient against sell-offs on the broader market yesterday, the company’s first trading day on the over-the-counter (OTC) market, dealers said.

An-Shin Food, a unit of the Teco Group (東元集團), fell 0.6 percent from the issue price of NT$166 to end at NT$165, with 1.79 million shares changing hands, while the OTC index fell 1.78 percent to close at 89.36 points.

Market analysts said the stock’s resilience showed there was interest in the popular fast food chain here, although it still failed to isolate itself from the impact of external unfavorable factors.

However, the market has reservations about An-Shin Food’s operations in China, where the company has only about 20 stores, compared with about 210 outlets in Taiwan, they said.

Watson plans new outlets

Watson’s, the nation’s largest drugstore and cosmetics chain, yesterday said it planned to invest NT$350 million next year to open 40 new outlets mostly in the center and south of the country.

The 40 outlets are its biggest expansion move in five years, as the retailer is upbeat on domestic spending over the long term and aims to boost total store number to 600 by 2015, Watson’s Personal Care Stores (Taiwan) Co (台灣屈臣氏個人用品公司) managing director Krish Iyer told reporters.

Watsons, which opened 27 new stores in Taiwan this year, currently has 442 outlets nationwide.

FSC approves expansion bid

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday approved Cathay Securities Investment Trust Co’s (國泰投信) application to own stakes in its Chinese peers.

The fund management unit of Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), Taiwan’s largest financial service provider by assets, is financially healthy to make the expansion move in China, the regulator said in a statement on its Web site.

That will make Cathay Investment the fourth Taiwanese firm to tap the Chinese securities market via joint ventures.

NT dollar edges down

The New Taiwan dollar fell against the US currency yesterday, down NT$0.08 to close at NT$30.370 as traders took cues from a strong advance of the greenback against the euro overnight to cut their holdings in the local currency, dealers said.

Traders have moved funds to the US dollar, betting the weakness of the euro and other non-US dollar currencies would continue amid escalating fears over the debt situation in the eurozone, they said.

There is concern the European debt crisis will hurt Asian exports, sapping demand for emerging-market assets.

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