President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday ordered the Cabinet to prepare to protect the Taiwan Stock Exchange from the fallout from roiling global markets, after the TAIEX fell to its worst-ever intra-day drop, burdened by falling Chinese equities and the nation’s stagnant economy.
Ma gave the instructions during the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) at the Presidential Office Building, Presidential Office spokesman Charles Chen (陳以信) said.
The TAIEX plummeted a record 583.5 points — or 7.49 percent — to 7,203 at about 10:24am, before regaining some ground to end the trading day down 376.58 points, or 4.84 percent, at 7,410.34 on turnover of NT$144.886 billion (US$4.4 billion).
Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) had his aides convene a meeting of the National Stabilization Fund Committee to discuss whether to use the fund to bolster the local market amid the global turmoil, Executive Yuan spokesperson Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) told reporters.
If the committee decides to allow the fund to be used to prevent a further decline in the TAIEX, the Cabinet would issue a statement to that effect, Sun said.
Mao has instructed Vice Premier Simon Chang (張善政) to closely monitor the situation and the measures that the relevant ministries are taking to address the stock market’s volatility, Sun said.
His instructions came one day after the government banned short-selling below the previous session’s closing prices and urged banks to buy back their stocks in a bid to stabilize the market.
Meanwhile, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said that the Legislative Yuan could convene its new session ahead of schedule to provide some alternatives for the government to stabilize the stock situation.
If such measures call for the amendment of laws, the legislature would be ready to act, Wang said.
The Legislative Yuan is scheduled to start its next session on Sept. 15.
The KMT is “willing to support an early start to the legislative session if the measure would help stabilize the stock market,” KMT Central Policy Committee executive director Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said.
Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said both parties would have to meet and discuss the viability of such a move.
It is not as if the local market would rebound simply because the Legislative Yuan is to begin its session early, Tsai said.
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