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Average OTC market daily turnover falls short of target

TAIPEI--The average daily turnover on the local over-the-counter (OTC) market has so far this year been far less than a NT$20 billion target amid cautious sentiment toward a market outlook, the GreTai Securities Market (GTSM) said yesterday.

According to the GTSM, which operates the OTC market and the emerging stock market, the average daily turnover between Jan. 1 and Oct. 16 totaled NT$12.17 billion (US$415 million), accounting for only 60.9 percent of the NT$20 billion target set by the exchange at the beginning of this year.

For the emerging stock market, the average daily turnover during the same period reached about NT$500 million, representing just some 62.3 percent of a targeted NT$800 million, the exchange said.

At a press briefing, GTSM Chairman Lee Sush-der said the low turnover has affected the exchange's operations, but added that the exchange is gearing up for the launch of new services in a bid to attract investors to return to the trading floor.

In addition, Lee said the GTSM will hold more investor conferences both in Taiwan and overseas to stir up more interest from investors.

Despite the thin daily turnover, Lee said foreign institutional investors held 15.5 percent of the outstanding shares on the OTC market as of the end of September, up from a range of 10 to 11 percent recorded in 2011.

Lee said through the exchange's efforts to boost the OTC market's international visibility, more and more foreign institutional investors have shown their interest in buying into shares in Taiwan.

Lee said an increase in foreign institutional participation has served as one of the drivers to the growth of the local stock market, which is expected to encourage more local companies to seek funds through share listings.

He said higher foreign institutional participation is also expected to enhance the efficiency of the local stock market, while polishing the images of local listed companies in the world.

In its efforts to boost the exchange's globalization, the GTSM signed a memorandum of understanding with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Monday to forge close business ties between the two partners, such as development of financial products.

In addition to the JSE, the GTSM has inked similar cooperation agreements with 14 other exchanges in the world, including NASDAQ OMX Group, Deutsche Borse AG, Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc., the Korea Exchange Inc., Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. and Singapore Exchange Ltd.

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