They also benefited major hotel operators such as a Taipei branch of the U.S.-based Holiday Inn (IHG), which said it had earned money on the takeoff in tourism.
But Chinese firms can normally buy no more than 10% of a company listed on the bourse in Taipei. Taiwanese authorities still have the power to spike foreign-direct-investment bids case by case even if the rules give Chinese investors a conceptual all-clear.
The scant access to Taiwan's lucrative private equity and fast-appreciating real estate markets remains little changed since 2008.
If investment caps fall further, mainland Chinese are expected to buy shares of Taiwanese smartphone developer HTC Corp. (2498.TW) and flat-panel maker Chimei Innolux (3481.TW) because the share prices are cheap.HTC has lost 66% over the past year and Chimei 64%, largely because of economic problems in their overseas markets. As China is distracted with its leadership transition, the two sides have evidently not yet begun to talk about dropping import tariffs on up to 11,000 items. They got a promising start in 2008 by slashing tariffs on an initial 800 items, but obvious benefits are limited mainly to a few specialized petrochemical firms. Finally, Taiwan believed that China had felt enough goodwill toward it since 2008 to not protest its pursuit of a landmark free-trade deal with Singapore. That country would become Taiwan's first major trading partner to ink a deal letting in exports, such as consumer electronics, at low tariffs. Two years later there's no word on why the Singapore deal is taking so long or when it will be signed. Maybe Beijing is too busy to sign someone's dotted line -- or having second thoughts. "We need more progress and more concrete items," says William Dong, head of Taipei equity and research with UBS, summing up the status of China-Taiwan tie-ups. "My view is it's going to have to wait a bit." Among those waiting for progress is Volkswagen (VOW.F). The German carmaker has been scoping out Taiwan since 2010 as a would-be megafactory site, with one of its criteria being how liberal China-Taiwan trade rules become, the government and analysts say. VW's share prices have held around the same level over the past year.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV