Fri, Jan 17, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

CTB is now `Mega'

CTB Financial Holding Co (交銀金控) officially changed its name to Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控) yesterday and named former vice finance minister Lin Tzong-yeong (林宗勇) as president.

Besides providing financial services to corporations, Lin, currently chairman of the International Commercial Bank of China (中國商銀), yesterday vowed to increase Mega's market share in the credit card business to 3.75 percent in two years, up from the current 2.75 percent.

He also said that government-own shares in Mega, which has NT$110 billion in capital, have been diluted to below 20 percent although the government owns over 30 percent in shares of its parent bank -- Chiao Tung Bank (交銀) and 42 percent in shares of its subsidiary -- ICBC.

Chunk of oil giant to be sold

Taiwan plans this year to sell 55.23 percent of Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油), a stake it values at NT$136.4 billion (US$4 billion), as part of a government push to cut holdings in companies and to raise funds to plug a budget deficit.

The nation's biggest oil refiner plans to choose an adviser as early as next month, said Joseph Lu (呂桔誠), vice chairman of the Commission of National Corporations at the Ministry of Economic Affairs during a year-end press conference yesterday.

Chinese Petroleum faces competition from Formosa Plastics Group (台塑), which started a refinery in 2000, ending Chinese Petroleum's monopoly on oil refining and fuel distribution.

Minister of Finance Lin Chuan (林全) has said the government plans to make Chinese Petroleum's sale a priority because of the increasing rivalry in the oil products market and the need to help finance an estimated NT$237.4 billion budget deficit and to pay debt.

"Privatization will give the company more flexibility," said Donald Hou, who manages about NT$1 billion of stocks at Zurich Securities Investment Trust Co.

TSMC move to be reviewed

A supra-ministerial ad hoc group will convene a meeting next Wednesday to screen Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co's (台積電) plan to relocate an eight-inch wafer foundry to China, Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Yi-fu (林義夫) said yesterday.

The ad hoc group -- established by the government exclusively to review the TSMC mainland-bound investment plan -- convened a pre-meeting discussion yesterday to sort things out prior to Wednesday's meeting.

Lin declined to speculate on whether the government will give TSMC the green light to head to the mainland during next Wednesday's meeting.

TSMC filed an application with the ministry's Investment Commission in September last year for permission to set up a factory in Shanghai to manufacture 8-inch wafers. The investment project calls for an outlay of US$371 million.

Sumitomo Metal to delay plan

Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd said its planned joint venture with China Steel Corp (中鋼) will be delayed until October from the planned start-up in spring.

The company did not give a reason for the delay.

The steel manufacturing joint venture will be formed in October this year, Sumitomo Metal spokesman Yogen Morihara said in an interview. Vice President of Finance Nobusato Suzuki in December said the venture will be set up as early as spring, or around May.

NT dollar moves higher

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded higher against its US counterpart, rising NT$0.04 to close at NT$34.450 on the foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$645.5 million, compared with the previous day's US$557.5 million.

This story has been viewed 3443 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top