TAIEX falls again
Share prices closed down 2.15 percent yesterday on lingering concerns about the global economy and the current financial crisis, dealers said.
The weighted index fell 110.27 points to 5,020.44 on turnover of NT$44.88 billion (US$1.39 billion).
While other regional markets staged a technical rebound, selling pressure surfaced as soon as the Taipei stock market opened on fears of a global economic meltdown, dealers said.
As the index fell below the key level of 5,000 points, government-controlled funds intervened to pick up electronic heavyweights in an attempt to shore up market confidence, they said.
International stimulus measures announced over the weekend also reduced selling to some extent, dealers added.
“Without the government support, market sentiment would have been even weaker. That translates into a possible steep downside ahead,” Concord Securities (康和證券) analyst Allen Lin said.
Lin said market movements would continue to shadow Wall Street.
“Further stock turmoil abroad and at home is very likely,” he said.
Hike in tax deductibles mulled
As part of efforts to reduce the tax burden for middle-class taxpayers at a time when the economy is in decline, the government would seek to raise the amount of allowable deductions for personal income taxes, Minister of Finance Lee Sush-der (李述德) said yesterday.
Lee said the government was considering a plan that calls for raising the standard deduction for single taxpayers to NT$60,000 from the current NT$46,000, and that for married couples to NT$120,000, from NT$92,000.
Deductions for education expenses would be raised from the current NT$25,000 per household to NT$25,000 per person.
Meanwhile, salary deductions and deductions for physically and mentally challenged taxpayers would be raised to NT$100,000 from NT$78,000 and NT$77,000 respectively, a source from the Taxation Reform Committee said.
Lee said the plan to increase the amount tax payers can deduct from their taxes would be discussed today at the committee meeting.
Once the plan is passed by the committee, it would be referred to the Cabinet as part of proposed amendments to tax laws, Lee said.
CPC reconsiders new unit
State-owned CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油, CPC) is reconsidering plans to build a low-sulfur fuel oil unit at its Taoyuan refinery because of cost concerns.
The company may not proceed with the plan to spend NT$42.5 billion on the fuel oil plant, CPC vice president Chu Shao-hua (朱少華) said by telephone yesterday.
CPC had planned to start construction of the residue desulfurization unit last year, he said.
“It’s too expensive,” Chu said. “We’re considering whether there are any alternatives, as the returns from this investment don’t seem like they will be high.”
Chu didn’t elaborate on other options the refiner may pursue.
Energy demand fell for a second month in August as manufacturers cut consumption after economic growth slowed, the Bureau of Energy said last week.
Use of fuel oil, typically burned by manufacturers for industrial heating, dropped 5 percent from a year earlier in the January to August period.
The planned unit would be able to process 80,000 barrels of fuel a day and construction would take at least three-and-a-half years, Chu said.
NT dollar strengthens
The New Taiwan dollar gained NT$0.049 yesterday to close at NT$32.388 against the greenback on turnover of US$1.393 billion.
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