US losses rattle investors
Taiwanese shares yesterday took a beating after the Mid-Autumn Festival long weekend, as investors were unnerved by heavy losses on the US markets in the past few sessions. The TAIEX closed down 350.97 points, or 2.03 percent, at 16,925.82. Turnover totaled NT$293.029 billion (US$10.55 billion), with foreign institutional investors selling a net NT$35.49 billion of shares on the main board, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed. “Today’s turnover remained thin, as many investors appeared reluctant to hunt bargains,” Mega International Investment Services Corp (兆豐國際投顧) analyst Alex Huang (黃國偉) said.
Foreigners buy NT$4.5bn
Foreign investors last week bought a net NT$4.5 billion of local shares after buying a net NT$27.63 billion the previous week, the Taiwan Stock Exchange said in a statement yesterday. The top three shares bought by foreign investors last week were CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控), Taiwan Cement Corp (台灣水泥) and Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控), while the top three sold were United Microelectronics Co (聯電), Innolux Corp (群創光電) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the exchange said. As of Friday last week, the market capitalization of shares held by foreign investors was NT$23.22 trillion, or 44.04 percent of total market capitalization, it added.
FSC to review new boards
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) last week said that it would review regulations on two new trading boards to boost companies’ interest in them. In July, the government launched the Taiwan Innovative Board (TIB) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange and the Pioneer Stock Board (PSB) on the Taipei Exchange, with only one firm listing on the PSB and none on the TIB. The commission had expected 20 firms to list on the TIB and PSB within a year of their launches. The remarks came after Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) announced that it would launch an initial public offering on the NASDAQ, instead of pursuing a local listing.
Billings fall in N America
North America-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers last month posted a decline of 5.4 percent in billings to US$3.65 billion from US$3.86 billion in July, marking the first monthly contraction in eight months, a SEMI report showed yesterday. That represented a 37.6 percent expansion from US$2.65 billion in August last year, SEMI said. “After an extraordinary eight-month run of record-breaking results, billings of North America-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers expectedly softened in August compared to July,” SEMI president and chief executive officer Ajit Manocha said. “Nonetheless, billings continue to reflect strong demand for semiconductor equipment and solid year-over-year growth.”
CSC profit declines 4%
China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼) yesterday posted pretax profit of NT$8.71 billion for last month, 4 percent less than July’s pretax profit of NT$9.08 billion. That brought its cumulative pretax profit for the first eight months of the year to NT$52.997 billion, a surge of 1,447 percent from the same period last year. As major steel mills around the world begin annual maintenance while end-market demand remains stable, CSC’s operations are expected to maintain growth momemtum in the fourth quarter, analysts said.
SELF-SUFFICIENCY: Alibaba is one of a number of Chinese firms that has answered Beijing’s call to invest in the development of cutting-edge technologies Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) yesterday unveiled a new server chip that is based on advanced 5-nanometer technology, marking a milestone in China’s pursuit of semiconductor self-sufficiency. The Chinese tech giant’s newest chip is based on micro-architecture provided by the SoftBank Group Corp-owned Arm Ltd, it said. Alibaba, which is holding its annual cloud summit in Hangzhou, China, said that the chip is to be used in its own data centers in the “near future” and would not, for the time being, be sold commercially. “Customizing our own server chips is consistent with our ongoing efforts toward boosting our computing capabilities with better
‘SHORT-TERM ECONOMIC PAIN’: A military takeover would only temporarily weigh on wafer production on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, IC Insights said Taiwan has more chip manufacturing capacity than any other economy in the world, US-based market information advisory firm IC Insights said in a research paper last week, cautioning that the nation’s strength could prompt China to attempt to take over Taiwan. Taiwan commanded 21.4 percent of global installed IC capacity, ahead of South Korea’s 20.4 percent, Japan’s 15.8 percent and China’s 15.3 percent, North America’s 12.6 percent and Europe’s 5.7 percent, IC Insights said. Taiwan is one of two countries that uses 10-nanometer technology or better to produce wafers, holding 62.8 percent of global capacity, with South Korea holding the remaining 37.2
AGGRESSIVE STEP: With the new processors, Apple is aiming at the high-end chips Intel has provided for the MacBook Pro and other top-end Macs for about 15 years Apple Inc on Monday took the most aggressive step yet to strip Intel Corp chips from its computers, announcing more powerful homegrown Mac processors alongside a total revamp of its MacBook Pro laptop computers. The company showcased the chips at an event called “Unleashed,” which also included its latest audio products. The new components, called the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, are 70 percent faster than its M1 predecessors, Apple said. It also unveiled a redesigned MacBook Pro, adding larger screens, MagSafe charging and better resolution. With the new processors and devices, Apple is aiming squarely at the high-end chips that Intel has
PRICE SPREAD: Oil trading under the Brent futures contract is giving the US a hefty edge in pricing, increasing the rush to secure cheap fuel as winter approaches Asian demand for US oil is rising as the energy crisis boosts prices for other crudes that are priced against the global Brent futures contract. China and other Asian buyers have been snapping up supertankers of US oil for delivery next month and seeking more for December, some traders have said. Most buyers are seeking US grades that had recently slumped to the lowest levels in more than a year, with an added incentive after Beijing awarded millions of tonnes of crude oil import quotas. A wide spread between Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil futures is accommodating higher US crude