Taiwan's top carrier reports earnings plunge

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom reported that sales rose 3.6% from a year ago, but its net income dropped 47.4%, due to a large currency-related loss stemming from the Taiwanese dollar's recent gains, a Reuters report said.

Chunghwa Telecom shares fell more than 3% in early trade after the company said it notched a NT$4 billion/€84.46 million loss in February due to a ten year foreign currency derivatives contract.

'The purpose of the contract is to hedge against capital expenditure payments and international call settlement fees dominated in US dollars,' a company statement said.

The firm added that it could see further losses of about NT$1.5 billion/€32.82 million from the remaining terms of the contract.

Chunghwa Telecom has about a 38% share of the island's total telecom market, and it competes with smaller local rivals Far EasTone Telecommunications and Taiwan Mobile.