Thin trading limits TAIEX rise
Early gains on foreign stock markets led shares in Taiwan to open higher yesterday, but thin trading volume limited the benchmark TAIEX’s rise.
The weighted index opened at 7,862.58 and moved between 7,877.05 and 7,854.47 before closing up 59.9 points, or 0.77 percent, at 7,856.12. Turnover was NT$59.08 billion (US$1.98 billion).
In all, 2,559 stocks closed up, 2,096 finished down and 445 remained unchanged.
The electronics sub-index outperformed the broader market, rising 0.86 percent with the help of advances by leading flat panel suppliers.
The financial sub-index also performed well yesterday, rising 1.35 percent on speculation of possible mergers between government-invested banks.
Bank may tighten housing rules
The central bank may extend its clampdown on luxury property market at its quarterly meeting this week, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported.
The bank may announce rules tightening mortgage lending rules for three districts in Taoyuan County, the newspaper said.
Central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) in June last year imposed controls on luxury housing in 13 districts that capped mortgages at 60 percent the value of properties costing more than NT$80 million in Taipei and New Taipei City (新北市).
Audi plans further investment
German automaker Audi AG plans to continue spending on sales, marketing and services in Taiwan despite an expected contraction in the local luxury car market, Audi Taiwan managing director Daniel Khoo (邱山祥) said last week.
Audi’s annual sales in Taiwan have increased from 1,500 units in 2009 to 2,500 units in 2010, 3,500 units in 2011 and 4,000 units last year.
The company aims to more than double its sales figures in Taiwan by 2015 and establish itself as the most attractive premium brand, Khoo said.
Money supply growth surges
The annual growth in M1B and M2 money supply both surged last month, mainly due to a stronger demand for funds because of the Lunar New Year holiday and net foreign capital inflows, the central bank said yesterday.
M1B, a narrow measure of the money in circulation that includes currency and passbook savings deposits, rose 5.66 percent from a year ago, up from a 3.97 percent year-on-year increase in January.
The US$1.8 billion net inflow of foreign capital was the other major factor driving last month’s growth in M1B, said Chen E-dawn (陳一端), deputy head of the bank’s economic research department.
The broader M2 monetary measurement — which includes M1B, time deposits, foreign currency deposits and mutual funds — increased 3.53 percent year-on-year last month, up from a 2.99 percent growth rate in January, data showed.
Bike maker reports profit
Merida Industry Co (美利達), the nation’s No. 2 bicycle maker, yesterday said its net profit was NT$2.31 billion last year on a consolidated basis, or earnings per share of NT$8.17. That compared with NT$1.81 billion or NT$7.33 per share the company reported in 2011.
Consolidated revenue was NT$24.38 billion last year, up from NT$20.16 billion in 2011, the company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
NT dollar up against greenback
The New Taiwan dollar closed higher against the US dollar yesterday, rising NT$0.02 to close at NT$29.889.
Turnover totaled US$608 million during the trading session.