Staff writer, with agencies

Fri, Nov 23, 2012 - Page 14

Cautious investors eye EU

The TAIEX closed slightly higher yesterday in thin trade as many investors remained sidelined, watching closely how the debt problems in the eurozone will evolve after European finance ministers failed to agree on an aid package for Greece, dealers said.

The government’s pledge to crack down on possible trading irregularities by contract fund managers of government-led funds also deterred institutional investors from chasing share prices, which confined the index fluctuations in a narrow range throughout the session, they said.

The weighted index closed up 17.27 points, or 0.24 percent, at 7,105.76, after moving between 7,097.38 and 7,134.78, on turnover of NT$45.30 billion (US$1.56 billion).

The financial sector scored the highest gains among the eight major sectors of the market, finishing up 1.13 percent. Dealers said buying in financial stocks reflected lasting optimism toward increasing cross-strait financial exchanges once a currency clearing system goes into effect.

Chinatrust ratings upgraded

Fitch Ratings yesterday affirmed the long-term issuer default ratings of Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) and its principal subsidiary Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託商銀) at “A” as well as upgrading the long-term rating of Chinatrust Securities Co (中信銀證券) to “A” from “A-,” the ratings agency said in a statement.

The outlooks for the credit ratings of Chinatrust Financial and its subsidiaries are stable, Fitch said.

Asustek launches new Padfone

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), the world’s fifth-largest PC vendor, unveiled its second-generation Padfone 2 hybrid smartphone in Russia on Tuesday, where company chief executive Jerry Shen (沈振來) said the new product will soon be available to customers.

Meanwhile, Shen announced that the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update will soon be available for the Padfone 2, with customers in Taiwan and Russia expected to be able to download the new operating system for free by the end of the month.

The Padfone 2 has a 4.7-inch high-resolution screen, is powered by Qualcomm Inc’s 1.5GHz quad-core processor and runs Google Inc’s Android software. It can be combined with a 10.1-inch tablet to provide the integrated functions of a phone and a pad.

Astro Air to unveil Taipei flights

A Philippine air carrier is scheduled to launch regular flights between Subic Bay and Boracay in the Philippines and Taipei in January.

Rene Ocampo, an executive with Astro Air International Inc, expressed the airline’s intention to fly the routes when he met recently with Raymond Wang (王樂生), Taiwan’s representative to the Philippines.

The Subic-based company is now waiting for the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to give it the green light to fly the new routes.

The company will use two MD-83 passenger planes for the flights and will ask Taiwan to provide logistics and maintenance support.

NT down as US dollar, yuan up

The New Taiwan dollar remained weak against the US dollar Thursday, edging down NT$0.006 to close at NT$29.185 as the local central bank intervened in late trade to reverse the greenback’s earlier losses, dealers said.

Ahead of the central bank’s intervention, the greenback trended lower against the NT dollar as traders took cues from a rising Chinese yuan, which was boosted by an improvement in manufacturing activity in China, they said.

Turnover totaled about US$363 million during the trading session.