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Tue, Mar 12, 2002 - Page 18 News List

Stocks rise to an 18-month high, led by TSMC and UMC

BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

The TAIEX rose to its highest in almost a year and a half on optimism the government will soon allow chipmakers to invest in China. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and rival United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) accounted for more than two-fifths of the index's gains.

The TAIEX rose 184.61, or 3.1 percent, to 6196.26, its highest since Oct. 9, 2000. Within the index, 471 stocks rose and 52 fell. The total value of trade was NT$166 billion (US$4.7 billion), three-fifths more than the six-month daily average of NT$103 billion.

The Cabinet on Friday announced plans to allow the transfer of idle or fully depreciated plants that make eight-inch silicon wafers. A government official said the nation may lift a ban on computer chipmakers investing in China by month's end.

"The government looks increasingly inclined to ease the China-investment ban," said Bryan Chiang, who counts TSMC and UMC among the NT$1.8 billion (US$52 million) he helps manage at Invesco Taiwan Ltd (景順投信).

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