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No excess but some anxiety

Taiwan avoided the excesses of Asian equity market euphoria last year and has escaped the worst of the stock market corrections in 2000. Some imaginative plays have helped it to the top of the Asian primary equity market this year. But even now concerns about a slowing economy, political uncertainty and a fragile banking system have many analysts believing the market has peaked for Taiwan issuers. Gill Baker reports

       
Taiwanese investors may find their
market rather dull compared to others in Asia

Equity and quasi-equity deals have led the Taiwan market so far this year, and look set to continue to do so for the rest of 2000.


Taiwan was in the bottom third of the rankings for Asian stock market performance last year - although still with 31% growth - as investors grew over-enthusiastic about the so-called V-shaped Asian recovery. This year has been a different story. Many stock markets in the region have suffered serious declines - Thailand is down around 40% since the beginning of the year, the Philippines and South Korea down 33% and Singapore down 18%.


Only China and the main Hong Kong market have seen positive growth. In this context, Taiwan's 4% slide seems almost robust.


But though the Taiwan Stock Exchange has not fallen as far as many in Asia this year, it has still had its fair share of problems.





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