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Technology still promises billions

Despite a drop in technology stocks, those in the industry still have what it takes to reach the billionaires’ list.

The NASDAQ exchange in the US was down by 3.8 per cent, reaching a five month low, after its close last Thursday. Australian high-tech stocks followed with a similar drop on Friday.

The devastating earthquake in Taiwan, which has killed over 2,000 people and left many industries and communities without power, sparked an initial drop in NASDAQ stocks.

The fourth largest computer chip producing, PC and component manufacturer in the world, exporting $18 billion in high-tech goods a year, it is estimated that it will take Taiwan up to three weeks before an adequate power supply can be gained to restart production.

Power supply, and not structural damage, is blamed for the threat to Taiwan’s export of technology.

Gartner PC analyst Bruce McCabe said: “The main areas to be affected will be notebook products, because manufacturing is under contract in Taiwan for most of the big names, and then semiconductor products for memory, motherboards and LCD panels.”

Apple Computer, Compaq, Dell, IBM, Motorola and National Semiconductor all acquire computer equipment, in whole or in part, from manufacturers in Taiwan.

Hi-tech stocks were also booted down by Microsoft president Steve Ballmer’s damaging statement to the Society of American Editors and Writers.

“There’s such an overvaluation of tech stocks it’s absurd,” announced Mr Bullmer at the technology conference. “I’d put our company’s stock in that category.”

Major players all fell considerably – Microsoft by 5.1 per cent, Dell by 6.6 per cent, Intel by 6.4 per cent, Amazon by 5.7 per cent and Cisco by 4 per cent.

Australian Sausage Software dropped 13 cents, closing at $2.73, while LibertyOne suffered the same drop settling at $1.32 and Solution 6 dropped 17 cents to $5.18.

However, despite the whopping $US5 billion Microsoft chairperson and chief executive Bill Gates lost from his net worth, he still remains America’s richest person with $US85 billion.

Forbes magazine, who published the 400 List of wealthiest persons for their October 11 issue, found that the sum of all this wealth was more than a $US1 trillion, which is greater than the gross domestic product of China.

Among the list new arrivals on the

billionaires’ scene was Internet businessmen Jeff Benzos from Amazon.com with $US7.8 billion.

He is just one of nineteen on the list to make their net worth from the growing trend in Internet business.

• Raphe Patmore is CEO of Internet consultancy Biz E Planet.

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