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TSMC market cap hits high before investor conference

2017/10/19 12:41:39

Taipei, Oct. 19 (CNA) The market capitalization of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) hit a fresh high in the morning session Thursday ahead of an investor conference scheduled for later in the day, as investors were hoping that the world's largest contract chipmaker will give positive sales guidance for the fourth quarter, dealers said.

Led by the upturn posted by TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange moved closer to the 10,800-point level amid improved market sentiment, the dealers said.

As of 11:43 a.m., shares of TSMC had risen 1.26 percent to NT$240.50 (US$7.96), with 14.33 million shares changing hands. Due to the gains in its share price, TSMC's market cap hit a new high of about NT$6.24 trillion, which was also the highest level among the companies listed in the local bourse.

The weighted index on the main board was 0.51 percent higher at 10,774.66 points, coming off an early high of 10,798.54.

Soon after the local market opened, TSMC attracted strong buying as investors took cues from a higher Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average breached 23,000 points for the first time overnight, the dealers said.

TSMC's momentum continued in reflection of a 0.61 percent rise in its American depositary receipts overnight at a time when investors held an upbeat mood about the chipmaker's operations in the fourth quarter.

In the upcoming investor conference, TSMC is expected to detail its third-quarter results and give a sales forecast for the fourth quarter, in which the chipmaker is likely to witness its shipments rising on the back of an increase in orders placed by Apple Inc.

TSMC is believed to supply the A11 processor for production of the new iPhones Apple unveiled in September.

At a time when TSMC's shipments of chips of the advanced 10- nanometer process is on the rise, analysts said, its sales for the fourth quarter could rise about 10 percent from the third quarter to defy conventional wisdom that says the October-December period is a traditional slow season for the semiconductor industry.

The 10nm process is the latest technology for TSMC, entering mass production in the fourth quarter of last year. The chipmaker is also developing more sophisticated 7nm, 5nm and even 3nm processes.

Investors expected that TSMC will give more information in the investor conference about the progress of the 7nm process development and its possible sales contribution for next year, analysts said.

(By Jackson Chang and Frances Huang)