Taiwan's UMC, the world's No.2 contract chipmaker, posted a 4.3 percent rise in February sales, thanks to a surge in demand in new electronic products including smartphones and tablet computers.

Analysts said the sales came at the high end of the company's guidance, helped by foreign exchange gains, and they expected a monthly rise in March sales.

We think UMC's sales will increase 6-10 percent in March month-on-month, said KGI Securities analyst Ricky Lin.

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) had sales of T$9.01 billion ($305 million) last month, compared with T$8.635 billion in February last year and January's T$9.525 billion, the company said on its website.

The sales represent a 5.4 percent drop compared with the previous month.

UMC did not give further details. In January, it forecast weaker revenue and shipments for the first quarter.

The company's shares closed down 0.64 percent on Tuesday ahead of the announcement, underperforming the main TAIEX share index, which rose 0.39 percent.

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Ken Wills)