Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Feb 01, 2013 - Page 14

TAIEX edges up 0.21%

The TAIEX reversed earlier losses to end higher yesterday as bargain hunters picked up financial stocks on hopes that newly unveiled cross-Taiwan Strait investment plans will boost profitability, dealers said.

The weighted index closed up 17.04 points, or 0.21 percent, on turnover of NT$77.13 billion (US$2.61 billion).

Taiwan Mobile sees 6% drop

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation’s No. 2 telecoms operator, yesterday forecast that net profits would fall 6 percent to NT$15.37 billion because of an increase in handset sales costs.

Last year, Taiwan Mobile made NT$16.33 billion in net profits. Costs will increase 20 percent to NT$62.88 billion this year, from NT$52.52 billion a year earlier.

Revenue is expected to grow 12 percent to NT$112.38 billion this year, from NT$100.42 billion last year, helped by an almost 60 percent jump in handset sales to NT$12.83 billion, from NT$8.06 billion.

Taiwan Mobile planned to increase capital spending by 58 percent to NT$12.8 billion from NT$8.12 billion last year, with most of the spending on mobile network deployment. The board of Taiwan Mobile yesterday approved a plan to spin off stores and to create a fully-owned retail subsidiary.

Depo investment approved

The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday said it approved applications by Depo Auto Parts Industrial Co Ltd (帝寶工業) and three other China-based Taiwanese firms to invest NT$11.2 billion in Taiwan, which could create 1,800 jobs.

The ministry said in a statement that the Industrial Development Bureau had approved the four companies’ applications because they have all been investing in overseas markets for more than two years and met the ministry’s criteria as they produce high value-added products and are crucial component manufacturers in global supply chains.

The ministry declined to name the other three companies.

By the end of last month, the ministry had approved a total of 20 applications submitted by Taiwanese firms who have invested in the US, European, Southeast Asian and Chinese markets. Total investment to be made by the firms is estimated at NT$168 billion, with about 23,000 new jobs being created.

Line to expand partnerships

Mobile messaging service Line is aiming to maintain its leading position in Taiwan’s social networking app market by expanding its partnership with local enterprises, the app’s developer said on Wednesday. NHN Japan Corp chief executive Akira Morikawa said his company’s Line is the No. 1 social networking app in Taiwan, with more than 11 million users — nearly half of the country’s population. Line is expected to maintain its lead in Taiwan this year as NHN Japan plans to launch more marketing campaigns, such as offering coupons via its chat platform, in cooperation with local partners, Morikawa said at the company’s Lunar New Year party.

Since its launch in June 2011, Line has gained 100 million users in 231 countries, according to NHN Japan. Last year, NHN Japan partnered with Taiwanese mobile provider Vibo Telecom Inc (威寶電信) and the Taiwan FamilyMart Co (全家便利商店) convenience store chain on promotion, which included a TV commercial.

NT dollar falls against US dollar

The New Taiwan dollar fell against its US counterpart yesterday, down NT$0.012 to close at NT$29.582.

The central bank intervened again in late trade to prop up the greenback, although the currency posted only a slight decline, dealers said. Turnover totaled US$962 million during the trading session.