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TSMC's market value climbs to record high

TAIPEI--The market value of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chip maker, set a new record yesterday as the Taiwan stock exchange's benchmark index closed at its highest level in nearly three years.

TSMC's market value rose to NT$3.2 trillion (US$106.26 billion) when its shares rose to NT$123.5 in the final hour of trading — the highest since TSMC went public on 1994 — before closing at NT$123.0, up 0.82 percent from a day earlier.

The exchange's benchmark Taiex ended up 0.31 percent at 9,036.12, its highest close since June 7, 2011.

TSMC shares have risen 14.2 percent since the beginning of the year on steady sales growth driven by its advanced manufacturing technology and strong demand for chips used in mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers.

The company posted a new monthly high for consolidated sales of NT$61.89 billion in April, up 23.9 percent from a month earlier, helping sales during the first four months of the year rise 14.92 percent from the same period a year earlier to NT$210.10 billion.

TSMC has forecast that its consolidated sales in the second quarter will range between NT$180 billion and NT$183 billion, which would represent a quarter-on-quarter increase of 21.5-23.5 percent and set a new record for quarterly sales.

As strong as the first half is expected to be, TSMC expects shipments in the second half to increase sharply because of strong demand for chips produced using the company's 20 nanometer process.

It anticipates that the 20 nanometer process will account for 20 percent of its quarterly revenue by the fourth quarter, driving its sales higher later in the year.

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