TSMC's market cap hits fresh high

2017/10/12 13:14:04 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
TSMC's market cap hits fresh high

Taipei, Oct. 12 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電), the world's largest contract chipmaker, witnessed its market capitalization moving to a fresh new high Thursday on the back of aggressive foreign institutional buying, according to dealers.

As of 12:35 p.m., shares of TSMC had gained 1.50 percent to NT$236.50 (US$7.83), with 28.34 million shares changing hands, while coming slightly off an early high of NT$237.50 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, where the weighted index was up 0.52 percent at 10,696.35 points.

Led by the gains posted by TSMC, the bellwether electronics sector was up 0.92 percent and the semiconductor sub-index was 1.14 percent higher.

With Thursday's high, TSMC's market cap reached a new high of NT$6.15 trillion. Even though the stock came off its high, its market cap still topped that of the previous trading session.

The previous day was the first time in TSMC's history that the company's market cap had breached the NT$6 trillion level, making the Taiwanese chipmaker the world's 25th-largest enterprise in terms of market cap.

Soon after the local main board opened Thursday, TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, continued to serve as a driver to the upturn of the broader market amid hopes that the chipmaker will maintain the lead over its peers in advanced technology development in the global market.

In late September, TSMC announced that it will build a sophisticated 3 nanometer process fab in Tainan to compete with Intel Corp. and Samsung Electronics Corp.

With construction expected to start by the end of 2020 and mass production scheduled to start in 2022, the fab will become the first 3nm wafer plant in the world.

The 10nm process is the latest technology for TSMC to put into mass production. It is also developing 7nm and 5nm processes.

Currently, TSMC holds a more-than 50 percent share of the world's pure wafer foundry business, leaving its rivals far behind. Since the beginning of October, foreign institutional investors who remain upbeat about TSMC's outlook, have turned aggressive in picking up the stock, with a net buy of 33.854 million shares. The strong foreign institutional buying has pushed up TSMC's market cap by about NT$544 billion compared with the end of September.

Although TSMC Chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) announced last week that he will retire in June 2018, expectations for the chipmaker remain high, since Chang has laid down a dual leadership after his retirement to navigate the company through global competition, which has removed uncertainty over its future.

(By Jackson Chang and Frances Huang)
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