Cyprus fears drag on index
The TAIEX closed lower yesterday in reflection of a falling Wall Street overnight amid lingering concerns over the financial situation in Cyprus, dealers said.
While the broader market trended lower, select high-tech stocks, such as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), which is part of Apple Inc’s supply chain, remained resilient on hopes that the US electronics giant will launch new iPhone and iPad models in June, dealers said.
The weighted index closed down 15.62 points, or 0.20 percent, at 7,796.22. Turnover totaled NT$64.71 billion (US$2.17 billion) during the session.
Hon Hai eyes iTV deal
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, on Thursday declined to comment on media reports that its chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) had met with representatives from Apple Inc earlier this month to discuss cooperation in TV production.
According to the reports, Gou met with Apple representatives at a 10th-generation flat-panel plant in Sakai, western Japan, and they discussed flat-screen shipments for production of Apple’s planned iTVs.
At the meeting, the reports said, Gou showed “a product” to the Apple representatives, indicating that the Sakai plant can supply panels to Apple in the US giant’s bid to enter the global smart TV business.
China Steel dividend approved
The board of China Steel Corp (中鋼), the nation’s biggest steelmaker, approved a proposal to pay a NT$0.4 cash dividend on its common shares based on last year’s net profits, the company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.
That is about a 1.5 percent cash dividend yield, compared with the stock’s closing price of NT$26.5 yesterday.
Shareholders of special shares are to receive a higher cash dividend of NT$1.3 per share.
China Steel made NT$5.81 billion, or earnings per share of NT$0.38, last year.
The board yesterday also approved five investment projects totaling NT$6.5 billion.
Applied Materials opens lab
US-based Applied Materials Inc yesterday opened a new advanced display technology laboratory in the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Greater Tainan.
The lab, set up three years after Applied Materials established its Tainan manufacturing center, signals the enterprise’s ambition to shift from manufacturing to research and development.
Applied Materials chairman and chief executive Mike Splinter said at the opening that there is growing demand worldwide for advanced high-resolution display panels for use in smartphones, tablet computers and personal computers.
Applied Materials’ establishment of the laboratory highlights its devotion to research and development for next-generation display devices, he said.
The lab would help bring NT$100 billion in business opportunities, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said last week.
Weaker euro hits NT dollar
The New Taiwan dollar fell against its US counterpart yesterday, down NT$0.056 to NT$29.909, as a falling euro exerted downward pressure on the local currency, dealers said.
It was the third consecutive session during which the greenback posted gains on the Taipei foreign exchange market and it hit its highest level since Sept. 3 last year, when the US dollar closed at NT$29.920.
Turnover totaled US$947 million during the trading session.
The weakness in the euro was due to rising concerns over the debt crisis in Cyprus, prompting traders to move their funds into US dollars as a safe haven, dealers said.