Tue, Aug 01, 2000 - Page 17 News List

Chunghwa may go for NT$120 a share

STAFF WRITER

Shares of state-owned Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信) may be priced as high as NT$120 when the company goes public later this year, double the original proposed offer price of NT$60 per share, local media said yesterday.

The share sale is part of the government's on-going policy to liberalize Taiwan's telecommunications industry.

The upcoming sale of a 33 percent stake in Chunghwa will have an impact on the domestic financial market, local media quoted unidentified insiders as saying.

Daily turnover for the stock market has been low recently, and many investors who have been sitting on the fence with large sums of money may scramble for Chunghwa.

With current daily turnover between NT$50 billion and NT$60 billion -- combined with the unstable prospects of the semiconductor industry -- the stock issuance could become a major target of capital flow.

Her Chen-dan (賀陳旦), the executive vice minister of transportation and communications, said that Chunghwa's IPO should not only reflect its value, but also prevent doubts about a sell-off once it goes public.

In addition, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (主計處) expects Chunghwa's sale to ease pressure on the government's wallet.

If the stock is sold at NT$ 60 per share, the market could be drained of liquidity, reports said.

According to an unidentified source, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications is likely to place Chunghwa's "bottom price" at NT$100 per share, or even NT$120.

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