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FSC Chairman Tseng upbeat about local markets

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC, 金管會) Chairman Tseng Ming-chung (曾銘宗) said Wednesday that he is upbeat over the prospects of Taiwan's equity markets because the domestic economy is on the way to recovery.

Tseng was responding to questions on whether the country's main stock market will continue to move higher after its benchmark weighted index breached the 9,000 point mark to close at 9,008.22 Friday, the first time it had close about 9,000 points since June 2011.

Since Friday's breakthrough, the local bourse has continued to post gains on follow-though buying. As of 12:14 p.m. on Wednesday, the TAIEX was up 0.29 percent at 9,081.79.

Tseng said he had faith in the future direction of the stock market, citing positive economic data, including the April composite monitoring indictor released by the National Development Council (NDC) on Tuesday.

The April indicator flashed a “green” light for the third consecutive month, signaling steady growth and a stable local economy.

In addition, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics raised its forecast of Taiwan's economic growth for 2014 last week to 2.98 percent, 0.16 percentage points higher than its 2.82 percent estimate made in February.

Tseng said equity markets should also benefit from positive external factors, such as improving economic fundamentals in the U.S. and Europe, and better bottom lines being reported by companies listed on both the main board and the over-the-counter market.

According to the FSC, listed companies on the main board and on the OTC market generated a combined NT$6.5 trillion (US$216 billion) in sales in 2013, up 4.4 percent from a year earlier, and their net income rose 9.8 percent to NT$379.5 billion.

Tseng said foreign institutional investors continue to move funds into Taiwan, serving as a key driver of the market's gains.

The net inflow of foreign funds has totaled US$2.285 billion for the month to date and US$188.67 billion for the year to date, Tseng said.

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