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September 24, 2017

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Local bourse drops as trade volume hits 4 1/2-year low

Shares in Taiwan fell for the third-straight trading day yesterday amid rising concerns over corporate earnings as trade volume fell to NT$46.147 billion, the lowest in four-and-a-half years.

The weighted index closed down 35.56 points, or 0.48 percent, at 7,337.48, after moving between 7,326.39 and 7,375.50.

Acer Down, Lion Travel Up

Acer shares fell 3.53 percent to close at NT$26.00 after the company reported a worse-than-expected earnings per share of NT$0.03 for the third quarter, while its operating margin fell to 0.3 percent from 0.4 percent recorded in the second quarter.

Lion Travel, which debuted yesterday on Taiwan's emerging stock market, at one point jumped to NT$80, an 80-percent rise from its initial public offering price of NT$43. The firm closed at NT$65.

Growth Still 'inpalpable'

Today will mark the deadline of a promise made by President Ma Ying-jeou, who vowed to make Taiwan's economic growth "palpable" to all within a month.

Yesterday, investors expressed the view they still can't feel Taiwan's growth, as trade volume, an indicator to the state of the economy, continues to be low.

Separately, the Financial Supervisory Commission is reportedly investigating whether securities firms will launch a new wave of layoffs on stifling trade volume in the stock market, the United Evening News reported yesterday.

According to the report, may securities firm heads have received calls asking whether they will lay off more workers.

The paper cited securities firm heads as predicting that a total of 20 percent of the workforce in the securities brokerage industry would be let go, on declining trade volume that resulted from various negative developments.

According to the securities firm bosses, if the situation does not improve, more firms will lay off workers, especially regular and backup traders.

Meanwhile, Yu Chin-fang, vice secretary-general of Taiwan's securities brokerage association, said the trade group hasn't conducted surveys asking firms whether they'll let go workers or not.

The paper also reported on market speculation that several securities firms, including Yuanta-Polaris and KGI, are expected to engage in integration efforts that may affect their workforces.

To this, KGI spokesperson Cheng Chia-chen confirmed that some branches will be combined with those of Taiwan Securities Co., after the two firms signed a merger deal.

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