TAIEX closes down 1.56%
The local bourse recovered part of its early losses on bargain hunting yesterday, but sentiment remained overshadowed by fears that the government would impose a capital gains tax on stock investments, dealers said.
A downtrend on Wall Street overnight and the lackluster results of the latest government bond auction in Spain raised worries that further volatility on the global financial markets would create jitters for the local market, they said.
Market sentiment was further dampened by the possibility that the government might raise electricity rates, after recent hikes in domestic fuel prices became effective on Monday, they added.
The TAIEX closed down 121.03 points or 1.56 percent at 7,639.82, on turnover of NT$95.91 billion (US$3.25 billion). Since March 15, the market has fallen almost 6 percent.
Listed firms’ profit drops
Total sales posted by companies listed on the main board rose almost 20 percent in February from a year earlier, the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) said yesterday.
In February, the listed companies on the TWSE posted a total of NT$1.54 trillion (US$52.20 billion), up 18.78 percent from a year earlier and also up 1 percent from a month earlier, according to statistics released by the exchange.
In the first two months of this year, these companies registered NT$3.08 trillion in sales, up 8.35 percent from a year earlier.
In terms of profitability, the TWSE-listed firms posted NT$1.11 trillion in combined pretax profits last year, down from NT$1.61 trillion in 2010, with the optoelectronics, semiconductor, transport, computer peripherals, plastics and steel sectors suffering a decline of about NT$508.1 billion in profits last year.
MOU inked with South Africa
The Financial Supervisory Commission yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Bank Supervision Department of South Africa’s central bank on cooperation in the banking sectors of the two countries.
The areas of cooperation covered in the MOU include information-sharing, confidential agreements, on-site examination and risk management.
It was the second MOU inked between Taiwan and South Africa. The first MOU between the commission and South Africa’s Financial Services Board was focused on cooperation in the insurance and securities sectors.
Currently, only one Taiwanese banking institution — Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行) — has a presence in South Africa, while Standard Bank is the only South African bank that has a branch in Taiwan.
Greater China area leads M&As
The Greater China area was the hottest market in the Asia-Pacific region for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of mid-scale businesses last year, according to a report published on Wednesday by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd, the world’s largest accounting and consulting firm.
Mergers and acquisitions of businesses valued at US$5 million to US$500 million in the Greater China area — China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan — accounted for one-third of such cases in the Asia-Pacific region last year, according to the report.
Transactions on mergers and acquisitions amounted to US$143.2 billion last year in the Asia-Pacific, accounting for 32.4 percent of such transactions worldwide, the report said.
NT dollar retreats
The New Taiwan dollar lost ground against the US dollar yesterday, declining NT$0.039 to close at NT$29.519.