TAIEX in quiet session
The TAIEX ended in a quiet session yesterday as many investors took to the sidelines in the absence of any leads from Wall Street, which was closed overnight for the US Labor Day holiday, dealers said.
The financial sector sustained higher selling during the session as investors locked in the gains they had built recently as a result of a newly inked cross-strait currency clearance agreement, dealers said. However, select high-tech stocks in the panel and solar energy businesses attracted rotational buying, which prevented the index from falling into the red, they said.
The weighted index closed up 0.82 points, or 0.01 percent, at 7,451.35, after moving between 7,440.03 and 7,479.01. Turnover during the session was NT$71.10 billion (US$2.38 billion).
Promotions boost car sales
New car sales rose more than 10 percent last month from a year earlier on the back of car vendors’ intensive promotion campaigns, according to the latest statistics released on Monday.
Last month, Taiwan sold a total of 25,800 cars, up 11.6 percent from a year earlier. In the first eight months of this year, car sales rose 0.6 percent from a year ago to 252,600 units, the statistics compiled by the data communication branch of Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) showed.
However, last month’s car sales fell 30 percent from July as the market felt the pinch of the impact from faded buying during Ghost Month, which runs from Aug. 17 to Sept. 15 this year based on the lunar calendar, the statistics indicated.
Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車) retained the title as the largest car vendor in Taiwan last month by grasping a 34.1 percent share of the local car market after selling 8,804 units, the statistics showed. China Motor Corp (中華汽車) came in second with an 11.2 percent market share by selling 2,900 cars, ahead of Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產), which took a 10.9 percent share after selling 2,814 cars.
Prudential to sell shares
Prudential PLC plans to sell its 7.7 percent stake in Taiwan’s China Life Insurance Co (中國人壽) for about US$155 million, Dow Jones Newswires reported yesteday.
Prudential will sell around 179.5 million China Life shares at NT$26.05 to NT$26.30 apiece, representing a discount of 2 percent to 3 percent to China Life’s closing price of NT$26.85 yesterday, the report said, citing a term sheet.
In June 2009, China Life completed its acquisition of the assets and liabilities of PCA Life Assurance Co (保誠人壽), a local arm of UK-based Prudential, excluding its bancassurance and telephone marketing businesses, for the nominal sum of NT$1.
ANZ cuts Taiwan forecast
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) cut its forecast yesterday for Taiwan’s economic growth this year for the fourth time this year, citing weak domestic growth in the first half of the year and lingering global economic concerns.
ANZ adjusted downward its forecast for Taiwan’s GDP growth to 2.4 percent, down 0.1 percentage point from its previous estimate of 2.5 percent in late last month. Taiwan’s government last month cut its GDP growth forecast to 1.66 percent for this year, from a previous estimate of 2.08 percent.
Raymond Yeung (楊宇霆), a senior economist at ANZ, said he foresaw “an obvious rebound” in China’s economy in the final quarter of the year, which will drive Taiwan’s export-oriented economy.
NT dollar rises
The New Taiwan dollar rose against the US dollar yesterday, adding NT$0.018 to close at NT$29.902 as further fund inflows boosted the value of the currency, dealers said.
Turnover totaled US$655 million during the trading session.