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Fri, May 24, 2002 - Page 18 News List

TAIEX rises for second day

RECOVERY China Airlines led the gainers on hopes direct links will be opened with China, while Asustek fell on concerns that its profit margins are declining

BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

The TWSE Index rose for a second day yesterday, led by companies doing business with China, on expectations that an opening of direct trade and transport links between Taiwan and China will boost revenue.

The index rose 8.32 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,549.96. About 21 shares rose for every eight that fell. The total value of trade was NT$61.2 billion (US$1.8 billion), half the six-month trading average of NT$122.7 billion.

China and Taiwan are considering the use of non-government intermediaries to discuss relaxing Taiwan's ban on direct links between the two.

"There's a change in the tone of the government's words toward the issue," said Karen Lin, who manages NT$300 million (US$8.7 million) in stocks at Prudential Securities Investment Trust Co (保誠投信). "That's very positive for the market in terms of progress on opening direct links."

China Airlines Co (華航), the country's largest airline, rose NT$1, or 6.7 percent, to NT$16.

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) fell NT$2.50, or 2.1 percent, to NT$119 after Goldman Sachs Group Inc said the country's largest computer-motherboard company will suffer from narrowing profit margins as it increases shipments to brand-name computer makers, and as the industry suffers from slow personal-computer growth.

Asustek forecasts motherboard shipments will rise to 20 million units this year, compared with 15 million last year, said Sunny Han, a manager at Asustek.

Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行) rose NT$0.20, or 1.2 percent, to NT$16.30. Taiwan's third-biggest lender by assets approved a plan to sell NT$42 billion of bad loans this year.

Polaris Securities Co (寶來證券) rose NT$1, or 6.7 percent, to NT$16 after a Chinese-language newspaper reported yesterday that Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) is close to completing talks to take over the country's largest provider of Internet stock-trading services. Cathay is in talks with Polaris, but denied it's close to concluding a purchase of the company.

Taiwan Styrene Monomer Corp (台苯) rose NT$1.70, or 6.3 percent, to NT$28.50 after the price of its main product rebounded on expectation plants around Asia, Europe and the US will shut down for regular maintenance.

Via Technologies Inc (威盛電子) fell NT$1.50, or 1.6 percent, to NT$95 after a local newspaper reported that the world's second-largest maker of computer chipsets will cut prices to compete with three new low-priced chipsets introduced by Intel Corp this week.

Mosel Vitelic Inc (茂矽) plunged for a fourth straight day on concern the Taiwan Stock Exchange will bar investors from purchasing the shares with borrowed money. The shares of Taiwan's third-largest memory-chip maker fell NT$0.10 to NT$11.

Taiwan stock market rules prevent the purchase of shares with borrowed funds if the company's book value per share falls below NT$10.

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