Taiwan central bank sees excessive foreign fund inflows

January 4, 2010

TAIPEI, Jan 4 (Reuters) – Taiwan’s central bank said on Monday that overall foreign fund inflows had exceeded the amount for purchases of local stocks in the past two sessions, and it had passed the names of the foreign investors who have excessive deposits in Taiwan dollars to financial regulators.

The central bank made the comment in a brief statement after the Taiwan dollar strengthened to a near 16-month closing high against the U.S. dollar on Monday. It did not identify the foreign investors.

The Taiwan dollar rose to an intraday high of T$31.731 but dealers said last-minute intervention by the central bank trimmed some of early gains to close at T$31.898 on Monday, still stronger than the T$32.030 close in in the previous session.

Two dealers told Reuters that the central bank asked them to refrain from selling too much U.S. dollars near market close.

Foreign fund inflows amounted to T$49 billion ($1.53 billion) on Thursday and Monday, while foreign buying of Taiwan shares totalled only T$17.77 billion on the two trading sessions, the central bank said in the statement.

On Thursday, the last trading day of 2009, Taiwan’s central bank said it was closely monitoring whether foreign fund inflows were invested in local stocks as they should be.

In November, Taiwan said it hopes an estimated $11 billion in speculative hot money that has flooded into the island will fall in the near future, as Asia central banks increasingly worry about brisk fund inflows into their local asset markets.

Taiwan has imposed capital controls by banning foreign funds from investing in time deposits, a move that appeared to be aimed at curbing speculative bets that the Taiwan dollar would appreciate. (Reporting by Lin Miao-jung and Baker Li, Editing by Andy Bruce) ((baker.li@thomsonreuters.com; +886 2 2508-0815; Reuters messaging: baker.li.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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