TAIEX follows Formosa Plastics and Fubon down


Sat, Mar 30, 2002 - Page 18

Taiwan stocks fell, paced by Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑), after China said it's investigating whether makers of polyvinyl chloride were selling the product on the mainland at below cost.

The TAIEX dropped 42.45, or 0.7 percent, to 6167.47. Within the index yesterday, 344 stocks fell, 160 rose and 53 were unchanged.

For the week, the index rose 0.4 percent as investors tried to boost the book value of their holdings before reporting their quarterly performance. Still, concerns that the index's 11 percent rise this quarter was excessive -- and China's investigations into whether the Taiwan's steel and plastics makers were dumping products -- limited gains.

"We already factored in recovery expectations," said Louis Lee, who helps manage NT$1.4 billion (US$40 million) in Taiwan equities at President Investment Trust Corp (統一投信). For computer-related stocks, "the next event would be to wait for indications of third- quarter expectations" since there's typically a seasonal lull in the second quarter.

Plastics makers fell. Formosa Plastics, the flagship of Taiwan's largest industrial group, fell NT$1.70, or 3.9 percent, to NT$42.50. Nan Ya Plastic Corp (南亞塑膠) fell 70 cents, or 1.9 percent, to NT$35.80. Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp (台灣化纖) shed 90 cents, or 2.4 percent, to NT$36.60. Taiwan Styrene Monomer Corp (台苯) dropped NT$2.60, or 6.8 percent, to NT$35.40.

Computer-memory-chipmakers rose after Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體) said it expects to return to profit this year because of a rebound in chip prices, with a net income of NT$5.4 billion. All Taiwanese publicly traded memory chipmakers lost money in the fourth quarter as shrinking computer sales sapped demand.

Powerchip rose 60 cents, or 2.5 percent, to NT$25.10. ProMos Technologies Inc (茂德科技) rose 60 cents, or 2.1 percent, to NT$29.60.

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) fell 50 cents, or 1 percent, to NT$50.50. The state-run Fair Trade Commission fined Taiwan's largest phone company NT$1 million on Thursday for misleading customers on its phone rates in promotional advertisements.

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) fell 50 cents, or 1.5 percent, to NT$33.90 after it spent NT$1.65 billion to raise its stake in United World Chinese Commercial Bank.