Wed, Apr 23, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

Trade fair attendance low

The number of foreign buyers visiting the Taipei International Electronics Spring Show and the Taipei International Opto-electronics Show, which started last Friday at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall, were down by 66.22 percent to 883 from the previous year's event due to fears of a respiratory disease, the China External Trade Development Council said yesterday.

The number of local buyers were also down by 3.73 percent this year. Nearly 20,000 buyers visiting the five-day event.

KGI Securities to buy rival

KGI Securities Co (中信證券), the brokerage arm of Koos Group (中信證券), said it will buy smaller rival Taiyu Securities Co (台育證券) to expand its business on the island.

KGI will pay shareholders of privately held Taiyu in the form of 426.4 million new KGI shares, it said in a statement. That values the takeover at NT$4.2 billion (US$120 million), based on KGI's closing price today.

Central bank head to testify

Central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) and 10 other current or former government financial officials were summoned by the Investigation Bureau to testify in a loan scandal, local newspapers reported.

Perng was questioned in connection with a decision by the Central Trust of China (中央信託局) to participate in a syndicated loan for a property development that later turned bad, the reports said. Perng was chairman of Central Trust of China at the time, the reports said.

The Investigation Bureau also summoned former finance minister Lee Yung-san (李庸三), who was chairman of the Farmers Bank of China (農民銀行) when the bank agreed to participate in the same syndicate, one of the newspapers said.

LCDs shipments rise

Large-sized LCD panel shipment volume saw a 12.3 percent increase from the fourth quarter of last year, reaching over 7.2 million units in the first quarter, the government-funded Market Intel-ligence Center (MIC, 市場情報中心) said in a statement.

Total shipment value similarly grew 14.6% during the same period to reach US$1.3 billion due to rising panel prices, reversing the loss in shipment value seen over the two previous quarters, the research institute said.

MIC said shipments for LCD monitor applications are anticipated to comprise over 70 percent of output in the second quarter, while shipments for LCD TV will likely rise given Taiwanese makers' growing involvement in the production of displays for this application.

Long Life in China by year's end

The most popular local cigarette brand -- Long Life -- is to hit the Chinese market at the end of this year, Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp (TTL, 台灣菸酒公司) Chairman Huang Ying-san (黃營杉) said Monday.

Huang estimated that sales of Long Life cigarette can reach two million cartons, worth NT$35 billion (US$1 billion), in the first year.

The Chunghwa brand from China entered the Taiwan market a few days ago after the TTL and the Shanghai Tobacco Co -- manufacturers of the Chunghwa brand -- reached a trademark-exchange agreement, with TTL ceding its local trademark of the Chunghwa name in Taiwan in exchange for the Long Life trademark on the mainland.

NT dollar declines

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday continued to lose ground against its US counterpart, declining NT$0.020 to close at NT$34.816 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$490 million.

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