TSMC records largest number of shareholders among listed firms
Taipei, April 5 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, last week saw the number of shareholders in the company rise to a new high, the largest among listed companies on the local equity market, according to Taiwan Depository & Clearing Corp. (TDCC)
Data compiled by TDCC showed the number of TSMC shareholders rose by 2,495 last week to set a new record of 1,002,564 as of April 1, the last trading session ahead of the on-going Tomb Sweeping Festival holiday.
TSMC passed China Steel Corp., the largest steel maker in Taiwan, which had 998,980 shareholders as of April 1, the data indicated.
Market analysts said interest in TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, has been on the rise as the stock continues to push up the Taiex, the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Last week, TSMC shares rose 2.03 percent to close at NT$602.00 after the stock staged a strong rebound of 2.56 percent on April 1. In the week, the Taiex rose 0.58 percent, with TSMC's gains helping the broader market end above the closing level of the previous week.
Analysts said many investors appear upbeat about TSMC's business prospects in the wake of solid global demand for emerging technologies such as 5G applications, high performance computing devices and the Internet of Things.
TSMC has confirmed it plans to invest US$100 billion over the next three years to expand operations.
The company said the massive investment will dedicate more resources to research and development and upgrading technologies, so as to maintain TSMC's lead over its peers on the global market.
In addition, a letter written by TSMC's CEO C.C. Wei (魏哲家) to company clients which circulated on the market last week indicated that due to a hike in production raw material prices as well as the growing complexity of leading technology nodes, the wafer foundry operator will halt wafer price reductions starting Dec. 31. The suspension will continue for four quarters.
TSMC declined to comment on the letter and the price cut suspension.
According to TDCC, the number of TSMC's shareholders owning more than 1 million shares fell by 3 last week to 1,504, while the number of the chipmaker's shareholders who hold less than 1,000 shares rose 4,704 to 560,861.
Analysts said since odd-lot trading -- referring to orders of fewer than 1,000 shares -- started on Oct. 26, 2020, the new mechanism has attracted many younger investors who were previously unable to afford high-priced stocks, like TSMC.
TSMC has an investor conference scheduled for April 15. and many investors are anxiously waiting for the company's results for the first quarter, as well as guidance for the second quarter and 2021 as a whole.
At the last investor conference held in mid-January, TSMC Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Wendell Huang (黃仁昭) said the company would spend between US$25 billion and US$28 billion on capital expenditure in 2021, a historical high for TSMC.
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