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September 24, 2017

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TAIEX to top 10,000 points by year-end: Citigroup

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Citigroup Global Markets expects the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TAIEX) to top the 10,000-point mark and even challenge 10,500 points by the end of this year on the back of a recovering economy that has boosted corporate earnings.

The brokerage said the local market will also gain support from the return of local institutional and retail investors to the trading floor, while foreign institutional investors have stood on the buy side since the beginning of this year.

It said it is upbeat about the electronics sector, which could serve as a driver to an upswing of the broader market for the rest of the year.

Citigroup is the first foreign brokerage to predict that the weighted index will surpass 10,000 points in 2014.

On Friday, the main board closed down 0.46 percent at 9,273.79 points on a mild technical correction after the market hit a fresh high in more than six years a session earlier. Despite the latest pullback, many market analysts believe a future uptrend remains intact.

Citigroup said earnings growth momentum of the high-tech sector will accelerate as many international electronics brands, including Apple Inc., are scheduled to unveil new models later this year to push up their Taiwanese suppliers' shipments.

The brokerage has been also upbeat about demand for wearable devices and products related to the Internet of Things and predicts that the local electronics sector will ride the wave of the uptrend.

Citigroup said that with the local elections scheduled for November in Taiwan, the government could come up with measures to boost the local bourse in a bid to win more votes in the elections.

Citigroup has urged investors to buy into contract chip-maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple, and integrated circuit packaging and testing services provider Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc.

Citigroup has also named smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co., metal casing maker Catcher Technology Co., and contract notebook computer makers Pegatron Corp. and Compal Electronics Inc. on its "buy" list.

In the non-high tech sector, Citigroup favors Nan Ya Plastics Corp. and Taishin Financial Holding Co.

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