The China Post news staff and CNA
Only 25 publicly traded companies reported record-breaking sales in April, the lowest number since March last year, according to data provided by Taiwan Stock Exchange as of noon yesterday. The number was half of the 52 for April 2011, the data showed. By sales increase on a monthly basis, only five saw their April sales grow over 20 percent from March. The results matched downbeat sentiment gripping Taiwan stocks lately and came after economic uncertainties in Taiwan as well as the rest of the world, experts said. Among companies that posted record-breaking sales in April, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) saw sales surpass NT$40 billion last month, a rise of 10 percent from the same period last year. Contract notebook manufacturer Pegatron, meanwhile, saw April sales grow 27.54 percent month-on-month and 97.29 percent year-on-year. Transportation company Tze Shin had the most impressive sales growth, with revenue increasing 5,300.77 percent from March and 1,874.14 percent from April last year. As for the financial sector, several securities firms posted losses in April due to narrowing trade volume on the TAIEX. Yet most of them posted gains cumulatively from January to April. For financial holding companies as a whole, profit in April reduced by 30 percent from March due to various financial fiascos such as a government plan to resume the stock capital gains tax and the European debt crisis. In local stocks, the TAIEX came under pressure yesterday as sentiment was dampened by JPMorgan’s trading losses of US$2 billion, dealers said. The weighted index closed down 82.64 points, or 1.1 percent, at 7,401.37 after moving between 7,382.95 and 7,473.55. Turnover during the session totaled NT$67.44 billion. For the week, the TAIEX fell 299.58 points or 3.89 percent, relatively high in Asia. The large losses suffered by JPMorgan since the beginning of April raised concerns over the possibility of a domino effect among international financial institutions, which would create a new crisis in the global financial markets, dealers said.
Worries about how Greece will deal with its debt problem remained in place, weighing on market sentiment as the European country has not yet form a coalition government since its parliamentary vote Sunday, they added.