Taiwan bourse investigates HTC share surge

Taiwan Stock Exchange said Tuesday it was investigating a sudden surge in the share price of leading smartphone maker HTC before it had announced a patent settlement with US technology giant Apple.

HTC's shares temporarily soared up to their daily 7.0 percent limit on Friday prior to the announcement of the global patent settlement with the iPhone maker, triggering speculation that the news might had been leaked.

An official at the Taipei bourse confirmed it has started looking into several cases of suspected unusual share surges, including the rise in HTC's shares, and will contact the financial regulator if irregularities are found.

HTC was not immediately available for comment.

On Monday, HTC shares ended limit-up 7.0 percent at Tw$241.5 ($8.33) although it fell 6.83 percent to Tw$225.0 on Tuesday.

Sunday's 10-year licensing agreement comes at an important time for HTC as it is hit by competition from Apple and South Korea's Samsung.

The world's leading technology firms have routinely pounded each other with patent lawsuits. Apple had accused HTC and other smartphone makers that use Google's Android mobile operating system of infringing its patents.

HTC last month said net profit in the July-September quarter tumbled 79.1 percent from a year earlier to Tw$3.9 billion, while revenues were down 48 percent to Tw$70.2 billion year-on-year.

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