Local shares drop by 1.46% on banking woes in Cyprus


TAIPEI — Shares on the Taiwan Stock Exchange lost ground Monday as euro fell under pressure from a bank deposit tax set to take effect in Cyprus.

An emergency deal was reached in Brussels March 16 to levy a one-time tax of 9.9 percent on Cypriot bank deposits of more than 100,000 euros (NT$3.83 million) and a tax of 6.75 percent on deposits of under 100,000 euros.

In Taiwan, financial stocks took a hit, falling continuously after the opening and finishing down around 2.3 percent. Six of the other major sectors closed down, although foodstuff stocks rose nearly 1 percent thanks to a drop in price of raw materials.

The benchmark weighted index opened at 7,886.69 and closed down 116.15 points, or 1.46 percent at 7,811.34, after moving between 7,888.16 and 7,807.61 on turnover of NT$70.15 billion (US$2.36 billion).

A total of 1,237 stocks finished up, 3,855 closed down and 239 remained unchanged. Winson Wang, an analyst at Marbo Securities Consultant Co., recommended that investors focus on stocks such as daily necessities manufacturers and construction firms.

Grand Cathay Securities analyst Mars Hsu said investors should pay close attention to favorable investment conditions in April, when Taiwanese smartphone vendor HTC is scheduled to release new models.

Hsu added that the price drop in raw materials could also benefit some sectors, including clothing manufacturers and tire makers.

The U.S. dollar closed higher against the Taiwan dollar Monday, gaining NT$0.053 to close at NT$29.815.

Turnover totaled US$651 million during the trading session.

The greenback opened at the day’s high of NT$29.825 and reached a low of NT$29.680 before closing.