Taiwan News Morning Briefing – July 1

Boosted by a sharp surge in heavily weighted electronics stocks, shares in Taiwan rose to their highest level in more than six and a half years on Mon

Brazil Soccer WCup Germany Algeria

Algeria's goalkeeper Rais M

Market & Commodity ■ Taiwan stock market (TWSE) opened flat on Tuesday's session at 9,393.07, with turnover reaching NT$2.03 billion. ■ The U.S. stocks are closing out another strong quarter, giving the Standard & Poor's 500 index its sixth straight quarterly gain. The market was mixed on Monday as trading was muted ahead of the July 4th holiday in the U.S. The S&P 500 edged down less than a point to close at 1,960 Monday, two points below the record high it set on June 20. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 25 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,826. The Nasdaq composite rose 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,408. (AP) World News ■ In the round of 16, France beat Nigeria 2-0; Germany downed Algeria 2-1 at Monday's matches of Brazil's FIFA soccer game. ■ North Korea demands that rival South Korea cancel annual military drills with the U.S. to promote reconciliation ahead of the Asian Games, which South Korea is hosting and North Korea has said it will enter. (AP) ■ An annual protest march in Hong Kong is expected to draw three times as many people as usual, angered by Beijing's insistence on limiting residents' say in picking the southern Chinese financial hub's next leader. Organizers expect at least 150,000 people to take to the streets Tuesday to show their support for democratic reform and oppose Beijing's desire to have the final word on candidates for the chief executive's job. (AP) Local News ■ Ko Wen-je’s offhand remark a couple of days ago that the KMT campaign behind Sean Lien for mayor of Taipei City could end up spending NT$20 billion and still not win the election, has drawn a sharp denial from the Lien camp. Ko said Sunday that the NT$20 billion figure was just a joke and no one should take it seriously. He added that spending on his own campaign should total less than NT$80 million. (Taiwan News) ■ Hon Hai announced Monday the group’s intention to take a stake in SK C&C. Institutional investors indicated that Hon Hai will begin a cooperation program with SK Telecom which has driven shares higher with intraday highs reaching NT$100. Hon Hai subsidiary Best Leap Enterprises Limited will secure 2.45 million SK C&C shares for NT$11.2 billion for a 4.9% stake in the company. (Taiwan News) ■ Speaking about the protests at Sizihwan in Kaohsiung, where demonstrators splashed white paint and loosed cascades of joss paper on Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Director Zhang Zhijun and the security detail surrounding him, Ma attempted to put some of the blame on the Kaohsiung City Government for selecting Sizihwan as the site of a meeting between Zhang and Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Director Wang Yu-chi. (Taiwan News) ■ 15 listed Taiwan-based financial institutions have resolved to issue cash dividends totaling nearly NT$90 million this year. The amount of issuance has set another new record high, expanding NT$24 billion from last year and accounting for 10.2 percent of total cash and stock dividends of NT$884.18 billion for all TWSE and GreTai-listed companies this year. (Taiwan News) ■ Taiwan’s Supreme Court announced its ruling Monday and rejected an appeal from Yuanta Financial Holding’s (2885) founder Ma Chi-ling and his wife Tu Li-chuang over a stock transaction between Yuanta Investment and Yuanta Core Pacific Securities nine years ago to clear the loss of more than NT$1 billion made in Yuanta Investment’s structural notes business. (Taiwan News) ■ A cheaper plastic variant of HTC Corp.'s One M8 flagship smartphone has been certified by Taiwan's communications regulator, the National Communications Commission (NCC), for sale in the country. (CNA) ■ South Korean actress Lee Young-ae has donated around US$100,000 to help cover the hefty medical bills of a Taiwanese infant born in South Korea four months ago. The baby girl, Meng Ke-li, who was released by the hospital after the bill was paid, arrived in Taiwan on Monday along with her mother. Meng's mother delivered her baby prematurely in a South Korean hospital after she slipped and fell in a hotel in Seoul while traveling in the city with her husband in late February. (CNA) ■ A higher monthly minimum wage of NT$19,273 (US$661) will take effect starting Tuesday across Taiwan, the Ministry of Labor confirmed Monday, but the focus of the wage debate was already turning to the idea of a living wage. The new minimum wage, approved by the Cabinet last September, represents a 1.2 percent increase from the previous level of NT$19,047. Some 1.52 million Taiwanese workers and 290,000 foreign workers are expected to benefit from the increase. (CNA)