TAIEX up despite EU debt worry
The TAIEX edged up yesterday as gains by large-cap electronic stocks were offset by losing performances in Europe and the US on fresh concerns over Spanish and Italian debt, dealers said.
The TAIEX finished up 15.99 points, or 0.21 percent, to close at 7,656.67 on relatively low turnover of NT$66.89 billion (US$2.27 billion).
The index fell to the day’s low of 7,573.05, as investors were scared off by overnight losses on Wall Street and in European markets.
However, backed by interest in large-cap electronic stocks such as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), the index rebounded and hit a daily peak of 7,666.07 just after noon.
Evergreen mulls giant ships
Evergreen Group (長榮集團), Asia’s No. 2 container line, is considering leasing vessels able to carry about 14,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) as shipping companies turn to bigger vessels to pare fuel costs.
“This type of vessel is one of our options,” the Taipei-based group said on Tuesday.
No decision has been made, said the group, which controls Taiwan-listed Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運).
The shipping line is close to a deal to lease 10 14,000-TEU vessels from Korea Development Bank, to be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co, Lloyd’s List said on Thursday last week, without saying where it got the information.
Evergreen has added fewer bigger vessels than its rivals as a glut of capacity caused rates to plunge on Asia-Europe routes.
FPG considers salary rise
Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團), Taiwan’s largest petrochemical conglomerate, is considering raising employee salaries following fuel price hikes and a planned increase in electricity prices, FPG chairman William Wong (王文淵) said on Tuesday.
However, Wong said it was too early to discuss the range of any such hikes, as the conglomerate does not usually adjust salaries until July.
“Business prospects remain weak. We will decide the range based on how other companies in the industry adjust their salaries,” he said.
Firms’ pretax profits plunge
Pretax profits posted by Taiwan’s publicly listed companies dropped by 32.43 percent last year compared with a year earlier, according to statistics published by the Financial Supervisory Commission on Tuesday.
The commission attributed the decline in listed companies’ pretax profits last year to the impact of the European debt crisis.
Pretax profits of publicly listed companies totaled NT$1.16 trillion (US$39.55 billion) last year, a drop of NT$561.3 billion from 2010, the report said.
Companies listed on the main board saw pretax profits decline by 31.11 percent, or NT$502.1 billion, last year from 2010, but revenues increase by NT$387.5 billion to NT$18.22 trillion in the same period, the report said.
Over-the-counter companies experienced even greater losses last year, with pretax profits declining by 50.58 percent, or NT$59.2 billion, to NT$57.8 billion, compared with a year earlier.
Revenues for over-the-counter companies totaled NT$1.41 trillion last year, contracting by 4.62 percent, or NT$68.4 billion, compared with 2010, the report said.
NT dollar edges up
The New Taiwan dollar rose against the US dollar yesterday, up NT$0.008 to close at NT$29.562.
Turnover totaled US$584 million during the trading session.