Wed, Apr 01, 2009 - Page 11

Shares close slightly higher

Taiwanese shares closed marginally higher yesterday despite Wall Street’s sharp fall overnight as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the G20 summit this week, dealers said.

The weighted index edged up 4.79 points, or 0.09 percent, to 5,210.84 on turnover of NT$94.24 billion (US$2.77 billion).

Losers outnumbered gainers 1,039 to 891, while 141 shares were unchanged. Thirty-four stocks rose by their 7 percent daily limit, against 21 that closed limit-down.

The local market was stable although Wall Street plunged when the US government warned that General Motors and Chrysler faced bankruptcy and US banks could need more aid. The local market fell 3.43 percent on Monday.

Tinghsin to bid at auction

Tinghsin International Group (頂新集團), a China-based food conglomerate, has expressed interest in bidding for the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi A11 department store building, which has a NT$10 billion (US$295 million) price tag, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported yesterday.

An auction will be organized by the building’s owner, Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽), on Friday afternoon.

In addition to Tinghsin, Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽), Taiwan Life Insurance Co (台灣人壽) and Fubon Insurance Co (富邦人壽) have all reportedly submitted bidding documents and applications to participate in the auction, which is likely to drive up the closing price to some NT$12 billion, or a 20 percent premium.

The building, located in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義), sits on a 2,534 ping (8,377m²) parcel of land and has a total floor space of 19,205 ping (63,489m²), Shin Kong said.

Electricity prices compared

Retail electricity prices have remained at low levels despite drastic fluctuations in global fuel prices, a report released yesterday by state-run Taiwan Power Company (Taipower, 台電) said.

The report showed that the average retail price of electricity supplied to industrial consumers stood at NT$1.8331 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 2007, which was the third-lowest among 26 countries selected for comparison.

The price was higher than Norway’s NT$1.5052 per kWh and France’s NT$1.7560 per kWh, but significantly lower than South Korea’s NT$2.1637, Indonesia’s NT$2.1678, Malaysia’s NT$2.2201, Singapore’s NT$3.5121 and Japan’s NT$6.2404, the report said.

Computer makers add staff

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦) and Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦), the world’s two largest contract manufacturers of notebook computers, have increased staff numbers at their factories in China to meet a rebound in demand.

Compal has added about 9,000 production-line workers since January, making a total of 26,000, Chang Chih-ming (張志銘), a spokesman for the Taipei-based company said by phone yesterday. Output was running at about 80 percent of capacity, compared with about 60 percent in the fourth quarter, he said.

Quanta began hiring last month, spokesman Elton Yang (楊俊烈) said, without elaborating.

Meanwhile, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) cut 116,000 people from its workforce during the fourth quarter as profits fell, company filings showed.

Hon Hai and its subsidiaries employed 486,000 people as of Dec. 31, 19 percent less than at the end of September.

NT dollar on the up

The New Taiwan dollar gained ground against its US counterpart on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, closing NT$0.098 higher at NT$33.917. Turnover was US$733 million.