Losses per stock investor averaged NT$440,000 in 2018

Dec. 28 was the last trading session for Taiwan equity market, with the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, ending up 0.89 percent at the day’s high of 9,727.41 points. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Equity investors in Taiwan incurred more than NT$440,000 (US$14,332) in losses on average after the local main board fell about 8.6 percent in 2018 amid volatility in the global financial markets, according to data released on Dec. 28.

Friday was the last trading session for the local equity market, with the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (Taiex), ending up 0.89 percent at the day’s high of 9,727.41 points.

For 2018, the Taiex fell 915.45 points or 8.6 percent, which pushed down the main board’s market capitalization by NT$4.53 trillion from NT$31.83 trillion seen at the end of last year to NT$27.31 trillion.

Based on the 10.22 million stock investors registered on the main board as of the end of November, the fall in market cap cost them each NT$442,700 on average.

In addition, based on the 7.05 million stock investors who entered the trading floor this year, the average loss hit NT$642,000 this year.

The Taiex moved above the 10,000-point mark for most of the year before the main board encountered turmoil in October when trade tension between the United States and China struck global investors’ nerves and a rate hike cycle by the U.S. Federal Reserve hit market sentiment.

On Oct. 11, the Taiex even fell 660 points to close at 9,806.11, marking the first time the index had ended below the 10,000-point level since May 2017. In October alone, the main board fell 1,204 points.

Except for three trading sessions since Oct. 11 — Oct. 12, Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 — the Taiex closed below 10,000 points.

In mid-December, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) changed the government’s earlier upbeat tone, saying that the market’s benchmark index staying above 10,000 points was no longer a “regular pattern” because of external factors.

During the year, contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, fell 1.74 percent, Formosa Petrochemical Corp., second to TSMC in terms of market cap, lost 5.63 percent and iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the third-largest market cap stock, plunged 25.63 percent.

On the main board, electrical equipment maker Klingon Aerospace Inc. posted the highest gains of 435.17 percent in 2018 after the company cut its paid-in capital by 89 percent to cut losses.

Taiwan depositary receipts issued by Hong Kong-listed Evergrande Health Industry Group came in second, up 218.84 percent in 2018.

However, financially troubled Green Energy Technology Co., which is seeking debt restructuring, fell 85.06 percent this year, the steepest decline on the main board this year, followed by functional textile maker Sumagh High Tech Corp. (down 79.7 percent).

By Tien Yu-pin and Frances Huang