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Sat, Nov 24, 2001 - Page 18 News List

Pre-ballot boost for TAIEX

BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

Taiwan stocks rose as investors said government-controlled funds are buying shares in an effort to boost the market before the Dec. 1 elections. Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) paced gains.

"The government is going to support the stock market for the time being," said Tu Kuei-shiong, who helps manage NT$200 million (US$6 million) in Taiwan equities at Lian-Shan Investment Management Co in Taipei. "They want to give people confidence in the government so that they think they are capable of running the country. If the market falls, the government thinks they will lose the election."

The TAEIX added 69.06, or 1.6 percent, to 4,519.08, up 1.6 percent in the week. Within the index, 270 stocks rose and 201 fell. The total value of trade today was NT$86.9 billion (US$2.5 billion), up from NT$78.5 billion yesterday.

Chipmakers and computer parts makers, among the biggest companies by market value, rose.

Some investors may be buying chipmakers on expectations their orders and earnings will improve in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter.

Asustek Computer, the biggest computer motherboard maker, rose NT$8.50, or 6.7 percent, to NT$136. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) rose NT$0.50, or 0.7 percent, to NT$73.50. United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) rose NT$0.80, or 2.2 percent, to NT$37.80. Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電子) rose NT$0.90, or 6.2 percent, to NT$15.50.

State-controlled banks rose as government funds typically target these shares in their bid to boost the index.

"The government can control its four retirement funds and also give money to investment trusts and tell them to buy stocks," Tu said.

Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行), the third-biggest listed lender by assets, rose NT$0.20, or 1.6 percent, to NT$12.80. First Commercial Bank (第一銀行), the biggest listed lender by market value, added NT$0.10, or 0.5 percent, to NT$19. Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行), the second-biggest listed lender by assets, rose NT$0.40, or 2.2 percent, to NT$18.40.

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦) rose NT$2.50, or 3.2 percent, to NT$81.50. Taiwan's largest notebook-computer maker plans to invest US$18 million in its China factory ahead of an expected relaxation of restrictions on computer manufacturing in China.

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