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Taiwan shares drop slightly due to weak financial sector

Taiwan shares drop slightly due to weak financial sector

Declines in financial stocks slightly outweighed gains in handset-related shares, pushing Taiwan's shares a tad lower Monday.
The Weighted Price Index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange fell 5.66 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7646.81.
Traders said the index will likely break its previous high of 7716.85, hit Dec. 7, and test 7750 this week as local fund managers continue to buy small- and mid-capitalized technology stocks to increase their assets under management before the end of the year.
"We expect handset stocks to return to the spotlight as phone sales will likely be stronger than usual in the first quarter as the inventory situation improves," said Stanley Chou, a manager at Mega International.
Compal Communications, a contract maker of mobile phones for Motorola, gained 0.5 percent to NT$109.
Financial firms fell 0.1 percent overall Monday.
Taishin Financial ended unchanged at NT$18.60. It said Thursday it will sell NT$4 billion new shares to QE International, a subsidiary of Quantum Partners that is managed by Soros Capital Management, at a 19.4 percent discount.
The fund-raising is expected to strengthen Taishin Financial's capital structure by lowering its debt-to-equity ratio to 41.5 percent from 43.2 percent, Nomura International analyst Nora Hou said in a report Friday.
Index heavyweights fell Monday on the absence of foreign investors who left for holiday.
Taiwan Semiconductor fell 0.8 percent to NT$65.10 and United Microelectronics dropped 1.3 percent to NT$19.55.