Large traders stay on sidelines

BIG SPENDERS::The number of large traders fell to 1,137 in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with 1,507 in the third and a record level of 1,579 in the second

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Jan 12, 2019 - Page 12

Large traders held back from local equities last year due to volatility on global stock markets, although listed firms on the main bourse saw their combined revenue rise 7.33 percent for the whole of last year and the average daily turnover expanded 24.16 percent to NT$130.21 billion (US$4.23 million), according to data released by the Financial Supervisory Commission and the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Large traders are defined as those who trade shares at or higher than NT$500 million in a quarter, Securities and Futures Bureau Deputy Director-General Tsai Li-ling (蔡麗玲) told a news conference on Thursday.

The number of large traders fell to 1,137 in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with 1,507 in the third quarter and a record level of 1,579 in the second quarter, the data showed.

A quarterly drop of 370 large traders marked not only the highest quarterly fall since the 552 recorded in the second quarter of 2012, but also reflected the impact of negative factors such as a more than 10 percent decline in the TAIEX in October, volatile US equity markets and concerns over the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes, Tsai told the Taipei Times by telephone yesterday.

While the number of large traders was on the decline, it still remained more than 1,000 for the sixth consecutive quarter as the listed firms’ fundamentals remained sound, Tsai said.

Aggregate revenue at the 928 firms listed on the main bourse totaled NT$32.78 trillion last year, up NT$2.24 trillion from 2017, with 608 firms’ revenue rising and 320 falling, the Taiwan Stock Exchange said in a statement.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) retained its title as the nation’s largest listed firm in terms of annual revenue with NT$5.29 trillion, up 12.5 percent from a year earlier and a new record.

Pegatron Corp (和碩) was in second place, generating NT$1.34 trillion in revenue, up 12.3 percent from 2017, ahead of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), whose revenue hit NT$1.03 trillion, up 5.5 percent, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達) came in fourth, with revenue edging up 0.6 percent to NT$1.02 billion, ahead of Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶) with NT$967.68 billion, up 9 percent year-on-year.

Most sectors reported positive revenue growth last year, while three — optoelectronics, communications and the Internet, and automobiles — reported declines of 8.36 percent, 5.53 percent and 1 percent respectively, the data showed.

The best-performing sectors were building materials and construction, cement, and oil and gas, with revenue increases of 29.37 percent, 26.01 percent and 22.67 percent respectively.