Staff Writer, with Agencies

Tue, May 17, 2011 - Page 11

Taiwan is Asia’s No. 7 economy

Taiwan was the seventh-largest economy in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of GDP for 2009, according to a recent report by US think tank the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal.

The report carried the Republic of China’s national flag, with a caption saying the nation’s modern, developed economy is one of the richest in Asia.

The report cited statistics released by the World Bank in October last year as showing that Japan was the largest Asia-Pacific economy in 2009, with a GDP of US$5.689 trillion.

China was second, with a GDP of US$4.9847 trillion. However, China overtook Japan as the top Asia-Pacific economy in the third quarter of last year, the report said, citing World Bank statistics.

India ranked third, with a GDP of US$1.2369 trillion in 2009, followed by Australia with US$994.2 billion, South Korea with US$832.5 billion and Indonesia with US$539.4 billion.

Investment funds gain 3.27%

The nation’s investment funds gained 3.27 percent last month from a month earlier, while dollar-cost averaging portfolios fell 17 percent amid weaning sentiment, JPMorgan Asset Management Taiwan Ltd (摩根富林明投信) said in a statement yesterday.

Investment funds totaled NT$1.89 trillion (US$65.5 billion) last month, up from NT$1.83 trillion in March, but the number of DCA investors fell from 648,000 to 643,000, the fund manager said.

JPMorgan attributed the cautious sentiment to the downgrade of US government bond ratings and the expected end of the latest US quantitative easing next month.

Nan Ya restarts four factories

Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠) has restarted four of its 12 factories in Mailiao (麥寮) after a fire on Thursday, the Greater -Kaohsiung-based company said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

The rest of the facilities remain closed, with estimated losses of NT$8.7 million a day from the shutdown, it said.

Cathay Life buys SPHC shares

Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) bought 13.44 million shares in Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding Co (SPHC, 上海醫藥) in its Hong Kong share sale at HK$23 (US$2.95) each, parent Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) said in a statement to the stock exchange yesterday.

Wan Hai sells six-year bonds

Wan Hai Lines Ltd (萬海航運) sold NT$2.9 billion of six-year unsecured domestic bonds at an annual interest of 1.75 percent, the company said in a statement to the stock exchange yesterday.

Proceeds will be used to fund mid to long-term capital, repay bank loans and purchase ships and cargo containers, it said.

NT dollar drops NT$0.1

The New Taiwan dollar dropped against the US dollar yesterday, down NT$0.1 to close at NT$28.888.

Turnover totaled US$964 million.

Dealers said a weakening euro against the US dollar dragged down Asian currencies amid lingering concern about debt problems in Europe. Renewed worry comes as finance ministers of the eurozone were to meet in Brussels later yesterday to discuss measures to rescue debt-ridden Greece from default on its bailout loans.

The arrest in New York of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn for sexual assault has made currency traders jittery about the IMF’s efforts in the bailout, they said.

As a result, the greenback staged a technical rebound right after the foreign exchange market opened as foreign banks and exporters resumed buying in the unit.