TAIEX restricted by Italy fears
The TAIEX rebounded yesterday, but gains were capped in moderate trade on lingering concerns over the debt situation in the eurozone, dealers said.
Fears escalated that Italy could hold another round of elections after voting failed to produce a clear majority in parliament, which could complicate its austerity measures, the dealers said.
The weighted index closed up 17.08 points, or 0.22 percent, to 7,897.98, on turnover of NT$74.67 billion (US$2.52 billion).
HTC, Far EasTone sign MOU
HTC Corp (宏達電), the world’s No. 5 smartphone brand, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the nation’s No. 3 telecoms operator, Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd (遠傳電信), in Barcelona, Spain, to form a strategic alliance, according to a joint statement released yesterday.
HTC chief executive officer Peter Chou (周永明) said that the firms would cooperate in areas such as mobile device integration, value-added services, marketing and retail.
Central bank to put in SWIFT
The central bank yesterday said that a foreign-currency settlement platform meeting standards of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) will be implemented tomorrow.
The platform will conduct US dollar transfers in the preliminary stage, with yuan transfers expected to be added in July, later expanding to cover transactions in other currencies, the bank said.
The implementation of the platform will help consumers save time and reduce the cost of transfers, as well as benefiting the financial sector by boosting its infrastructure.
Central bank Deputy Governor Yang Chin-lung (楊金龍) said the platform is expected to bring down fees for US dollar transfers to between NT$320 and NT$1,020, from the level of between NT$600 and NT$1,400.
As transfer amounts increase, the central bank will urge local banks to cut their transfer fees and offer greater savings to the public, Yang added.
Currency measures down
Annual growth in monetary aggregates M1B and M2 last month contracted from a month earlier due to slower growth in bank loans and investments, as well as a higher comparison base because the Lunar New Year holiday fell in January last year, the central bank said yesterday.
M1B, a narrow measure of the money supply in circulation, rose 3.97 percent from a year ago, down from a 4.91 percent year-on-year increase in December last year, the bank said.
The broader M2 monetary measurement — which includes M1B, time deposits, foreign currency deposits and mutual funds — increased 2.99 percent year-on-year last month, down from a 3.67 percent growth rate in December last year, central bank data showed.
The central bank mainly attributed the slowing to the previous Lunar New Year falling in January last year, raising the public’s demand on money and boosting the comparison basis for last month.
After adjusting for seasonal factors, annual growth of M1B and M2 were 5.75 percent and 3.42 percent respectively last month, the data showed.
NT dollar up against greenback
The New Taiwan dollar gained against the US dollar for the first time in four days on signs the nation’s economy is improving.
The NT dollar strengthened 0.1 percent to NT$29.705 against its US counterpart, according to Taipei Forex Inc.
The central bank has sold the NT dollar near the close on most days over the past 11 months, traders who asked not to be identified said.