China-region firms’ value growing: poll

TSMC SHINES::The semiconductor maker is the biggest listed firm in terms of market value and the ninth-largest overall among the top 1,000 firms on ‘Business Today’s’ list

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Thu, May 02, 2013 - Page 13

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) saw its market value expand the most among the top 15 companies in the Greater China region over the past year, a survey conducted by the Chinese-language weekly Business Today (今周刊) and released yesterday showed.

The market value of TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, increased 23.29 percent to NT$2.75 trillion (US$93.25 billion) last month from NT$2.23 trillion a year ago, as its share price rose to NT$106 on April 24 from NT$86 on April 27 last year, the survey said.

“The company’s strong ambition is evident in its move to increase capital investment this year to nearly US$10 billion,” the weekly said.

TSMC is the largest listed company in Taiwan in terms of market value and the ninth-largest firm among the top 1,000 companies on Business Today’s list.

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC, 中國石油), the largest oil and gas producer and supplier in China, kept its place as the largest company in the Greater China region this year, with the market value of NT$7.42 trillion.

A total of 467 companies on the magazine’s list posted a rise in market value, up from 221 companies a year ago, while the market value of 385 companies on the list shrank, compared with 721 companies a year ago, the survey showed.

Manufacturers that produce goods for other companies on a contract basis, such as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), have suffered from low profit margins, which has dragged down their value, said Hsieh Chin-ho (謝金河), a financial expert and publisher of Business Today.

Hon Hai, the second-largest company in Taiwan by market value, and the 32nd-largest company among top 1,000 in Greater China region, posted a 12.91 percent decline in market value to NT$924.4 billion last month from NT$1.06 trillion a year ago, the weekly’s survey said.

Meanwhile, the government's plan to implement a capital gains tax on securities investment has capped the growth of local companies' market values and allowed several Chinese and Hong Kong firms to occupy higher places on the list, the weekly said.

There are 118 Taiwanese companies listed on the top 1,000 list, up from 114 companies a year ago. But the number of Taiwanese companies that were listed in the top 100 fell to 12, from last year's 19, the survey said.

In addition, the market value of Chinese financial institutions has increased dramatically over the past 12 months, as the Chinese government gave the go-ahead to foreign investors to buy shares of its banks.

“Nowadays, the scale of financial industry in China dwarfs the scale of its competitors in Taiwan, with four Chinese banks listed among the 10 largest companies on the list, while the largest financial holding company in Taiwan, Cathay Financial Holdings (國泰金控), was in 79th place,” Hsieh said.

He said the low stock market trading volume resulted from the capital gains tax plan also hurt Taiwanese brokerage firms’ ranking.

In comparison, CITIC Securities Co (中信證券), the largest brokerage firm in China, was ranked 48th largest with a market value of NT$674.7 billion.

The total market value of the top 1,000 companies expanded by 5.63 percent from last year, indicating an economic recovery, according to the weekly.

This story has been updated since it was first published.