Web Stories Thursday, February 29

TAIPEI :Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC’s Taipei-listed shares soared on Friday after the company gave a bullish outlook on the back of the boom in artificial intelligence (AI), delivering a massive shot in the arm for stocks at home and abroad.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker and a major Apple Inc and Nvidia supplier, on Thursday projected more than 20 per cent growth in 2024 revenue on booming demand for high-end chips used in AI.

TSMC’s shares closed 6.5 per cent higher on Friday in Taipei, cementing its position as Asia’s most valuable listed company, worth about $512 billion.

Its U.S. listed stocks closed up almost 10 per cent overnight, with the S&P 500 approaching record highs as AI optimism drove gains in Nvidia and other chipmakers.

Shares of Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices climbed 2 per cent in premarket trading on Friday. Both the stocks closed at an all-time high in the previous session.

The outlook also boosted Asian stock markets on Friday. The broader Taipei market, which ended up 2.6 per cent, clocked its biggest percentage rise for a year, with foreign investors buying a net T$80.2 billion ($2.55 billion) in stocks, the second highest figure on record.

Other Taiwanese tech firms also surged. AI server and component makers Quanta and Wistron’s stocks jumped 8.4 per cent and 9.5 per cent, respectively.

The Taiwan dollar gained on Friday as well, as investor focus shifted away from post-election turbulence. Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party won the presidential election on Saturday, but lost its majority in parliament.

TSMC’s announcement that it was evaluating building a third fab in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung city to produce advanced 2 nanometre chips also gave a boost to the government.

Opposition politicians have repeatedly criticised the government for allowing TSMC to build fabs overseas and “hollow out” the sector, and have said some investors believe Taiwan is a risky place to expand production given tensions with China.

Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua told reporters on Friday TSMC’s domestic expansion plans showed the fallacy of such claims. “Investment in Taiwan will definitely increase,” she said.

Both TSMC and the government have repeatedly said the most advanced chips will continue to be produced in Taiwan.

TSMC, whose chips are used in everything from iPhones and cars to AI and quantum computing applications, is such an important company for Taiwan’s trade-dependent economy it is widely referred to as “the sacred mountain protecting the country”.

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai said the city had been working hard to ensure stable and reliable water and power supplies for TSMC’s factories.

“Its key strategy is still to focus on Taiwan,” he told reporters.

($1 = 31.3940 Taiwan dollars)


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