Tue, May 06, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

Auto show cancelled

The 2003 Taipei International Auto and Motorcycle Parts and Acces-sories Show, scheduled to open on May 23 at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall, has been canceled amid worries about severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a spokesman for the event's organizer, China External Trade Development Council (CETRA), said yesterday.

He said 638 exhibitors have planned to use 1,840 booths to display their products at the show.

SiS shares rise after false alarm

Shares in Silicon Integrated Systems Corp (SiS, 矽統科技), the world's third-largest designer of chipsets for personal computers, rose yesterday after a suspected case of SARS at the company's research and development center in Hsinchu, turned out to be a false alarm.

Its shares rose NT$1.2 or 6.5 percent to NT$19.6.

The employee, a female engineer, was released from the Hsinchu Military Hospital on Sunday after five days of observation, SiS said in a statement yesterday.

The results of leukocyte index and X-ray appeared normal during her five-day hospitalized quarantine, the statement said.

She was not employed at the company's chip-making plant at the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park.

Chinese fishermen barred

The government has temporarily suspended the hiring of new fishermen from China as SARS continues to spread, an official with the Fishery Administration said yesterday.

"We've informed the local brokers new contracts for the hiring of Chinese fishermen are halted, effective as of last Tuesday," the official said.

Existing contracts for about 4,000 Chinese fishermen remain unaffected because "they were brought in before the outbreak of SARS in China," the official said.

SARS cuts government revenue

The SARS outbreak will significantly reduce this year's government revenues if the situation persists for a few more months, Minister of Finance Lin Chuan (林全) said yesterday at the Legislative Yuan.

Lin said that if the impact of SARS on economic activities continues until the end of this year, the government will suffer an estimated NT$30 billion (US$858 million) loss in revenues from business taxes, and another NT$20 billion loss in revenues from stock exchange taxes.

Taishin Financial denies report

Taishin Financial Holdings Co (台新金控), the owner of the second-largest domestic credit-card issuer, denied a Chinese newspaper report that said it may buy International Bank of Taipei (台北國際商銀).

"At the moment, we don't have plans and are not in any talks to acquire International Bank of Taipei," said Carol Lai, chief financial officer at Taishin Financial. "Still, no one can rule out any possibility in the future."

Taishin Financial may consider buying a rival other than International Bank of Taipei, said Lai. It has also been in talks with other lenders on forming a business alliance, Lai said.

Foreign reserves rise

The nation's foreign currency reserves rose to US$170.64 billion last month, up US$2 billion from March and up US$8.98 billion from a year earlier, the central bank said yesterday.

The reserves rose last month on the accumulation of interest, the Central Bank of China said in a statement.

NT dollar dips

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded lower against its US counterpart, dropping NT$0.009 to close at NT$34.801 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$238.5 million.

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