Staff Writer, with Agencies

Fri, Dec 30, 2011 - Page 11

Share prices consolidate

Share prices continued in a consolidation mode yesterday amid cautious sentiment, dealers said.

With foreign institutional investors remaining away from the trading floor because of the upcoming New Year holiday, turnover continued to shrink to the lowest level so far this year, they said.

The TAIEX closed up 18.15 points, or 0.26 percent, at the day’s high of 7,074.82, off a low of 6,998.97, on turnover of NT$52.11 billion (US$1.72 billion).

Manufacturing view bleak: TIER

The manufacturing sector indicator signaled another gloomy “blue-yellow” last month with the score down to the lowest level in two-and-half years, pointing to a bleak outlook for the sector, according to the monthly report released yesterday by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台經院).

The score of manufacturing was expected to slide 0.56 points to 9.57 last month, from 10.13 in October, hitting the lowest score since May 2009, TIER said.

Among all categories, only the machinery equipment category was expected to improve to a “blue” light last month, from October’s “yellow-blue,” according to TIER. “Blue” means business to remain flat.

FSC okays Chang Hwa plan

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday approved Chang Hwa Commercial Bank’s (彰化銀行) plan to establish a sub-branch in Huaqiao, Kunshan City, China, according to a statement on its Web site.

Several of the bank’s domestic peers have taken similar steps to boost their presence in China, the statement said.

SME loans increasing

Domestic lenders’ outstanding loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) totaled NT$4.69 trillion at the end of last month, up NT$392.4 billion from the same period last year, the FSC said in a statement yesterday.

The increase nearly double the commission’s growth target for this year at NT$200 billion, since it has encouraged banks to maintain an easy-credit environment without sacrificing risk management, the statement said.

SME lending accounted for 46.26 percent of overall bank loans last month, rising from 45.39 percent a year earlier, while the related bad loan ratio stood at 0.63 percent, lower than 0.96 percent one year ago, the commission said.

New Internet banking service

Western Union yesterday said a new Internet banking service allows consumers to send and receive Western Union Money Transfer transactions internationally.

King’s Town Bank (京城銀行) registered online banking account holders can now send and receive Western Union’s Money Transfe transactions internationally, Western Union said in a statement.

The service will also allow customers of the Tainan-based lender to register recipients of money transfers ahead of time, the statement said.

Acer denies personnel shift

Acer Inc (宏碁) on Wednesday denied a rumor that its executive vice president in China, Zhang Yonghong (張永紅), would leave to join Hewlett-Packard Co (HP).

On Monday, Chinese media cited anonymous sources as saying that Zhang had submitted his resignation.

In a separate statement filed by Acer Computer (Shanghai) Ltd, the company said there was no reshuffling of personnel.

NT dollar gains ground

The New Taiwan dollar gained ground against the US currency yesterday, adding NT$0.02 to close at NT$30.290. Turnover totaled US$535 million during the session.