The iShares MSCI Taiwan Index (EWT) exchange traded fund (ETF) is up 3.8% year-to-date, leaving us wondering what is happening over there?
The greater Taipei region’s real estate market beat the odds of a normally slow February, so says the latest realtor company statistics. The average price of a home rose to $9,860US per ping for February transactions, up 3% from the previous month, reports The China Post. A ping is a traditional Chinese unit of measurement, equivalent to 3.3 square meters.
Meanwhile, inflation is rising in Taiwan, too. Consumer prices rose 3.1% from a year earlier. This is the first time in four months that Taiwan has seen inflation, largely because of higher meat and vegetable prices. Chinmei Sung for Bloomberg reports that a resurgence of inflation related to the higher food costs may trigger the Central Bank to raise interest rates. The government said last month that consumer prices will rise 1.98% this year, faster than the previous estimate of 1.84%.
Taiwan’s president Chen Shui-bian said the island has beefed up defense spending after its rival, China, said it wold do the same, reports Thomson Financial. For the first time in many years, military spending is going to account for 3% of Taiwan’s GDP.
For full disclosure, some of Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EWT.
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