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Taiwanese shares close at 33-month high of 8,849.28

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Central News Agency (CNA) reported that shares in Taiwan on Monday rose to their highest level in over two and a half years, with gains spread relatively evenly across the electronics and old economy sectors.

14 consecutive days of foreign institutional buying yesterday drove the market capitalization of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC, 台積電) to a new high of NT$3.07 trillion.

TSMC shares yesterday closed up 0.85 percent, or NT$1, at a new high of NT$118.5, the highest since December 2000. TSMC is the world's largest contract chip maker.

Boosted by strong demand from customers including Mediatek (聯發科) and Altera, who use TSMC's 28-nanometer process service, TMSC's first-quarter is widely expected to outperform in the traditional slow season in semiconductor industry.

TSMC earlier upgraded its sales guidance for the January-March period to NT$147 billion from an earlier estimate of NT$136 billion-NT$138 billion. Foreign brokerages expected to see a sizable year-on-year growth of 15-20 percent for TSMC's second-quarter revenues, putting the company on course to enjoy its quarterly high record as a listed company.

Weighted Index Closes at 8,849.28 Points

The main weighted index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange rose 74.64 points, or 0.85 percent, to close at the day's high of 8,849.28 — the highest close since June 9, 2011 — on turnover of NT$86.31 billion (US$2.83 billion).

The heavily weighted electronics sub-index rose 0.94 percent, helping to drive the broader market higher, while financial shares underperformed, gaining 0.2 percent during the session.

IC testing and packaging supplier Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE, 日月光半導體) closed up 3.6 percent at NT$33.8.

Shares of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海精密), the world's largest contract electronics maker, remained unchanged at NT$86.3 despite the company's announcement on Friday that its net profit hit a quarterly record of NT$42.61 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. (大立光電) gained 1.4 percent to close at NT$1,440, and flat panel maker AU Optronics Corp. (友達光電) climbed 1.4 percent to finish at NT$10.75.

Smartphone maker HTC Corp. (宏達電) rose 3 percent to NT$153, but Quanta Computer Inc. (廣達電腦) saw its shares tumble 4.5 percent to close at NT$82.

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