Thu, May 22, 2003 - Page 11 News List

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STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

Tax shortfall predicted

Taiwan may face a shortfall of around NT$60 billion in tax revenues this year, judging from the tax revenues in the first four months of the year, a Ministry of Finance official said yesterday.

But if the outbreak of SARS can not be brought under control soon, the nation this year may face up to NT$100 billion shortfall in tax revenues, Nelson Yu (游能淵), deputy director-general of the Taxation Department, said at a press conference.

On Monday Minister of Finance Lin Chuan (林全) told lawmakers that in the first four months of the year, tax revenues from income tax, stock transaction tax, business tax and import tariffs were less than the same period last year.

The ministry has targeted an annual tax revenues of NT$929.8 billion for this year. In the January to April period, the government's revenues from taxes totaled NT$202.8 billion, accounting for only 21.81 percent of the target set for the year.

Takashimaya reopens in Tienmu

Takashimaya Department Store (大葉高島屋) in Tienmu reopened yesterday after closing its doors for four days to disinfect the facility, with customer traffic declining by 50 percent from the past, the store's vice president, Wei Chih-hsiung (魏志雄), said yesterday.

Customer traffic can reach more than 10,000 people per day on weekdays and as many as 30,000 on weekends, he said.

The retailer closed its doors on Saturday after a saleswoman was diagnosed as SARS-positive. To drum up its sales, it has extended its annual promotion activities through June 1, with promotions of up to 88 percent off on selected items, Wei said.

The closure may cost the store up to NT$70 million in revenue, he added.

Quanta to offer new shares

Quanta Display Inc (廣輝電子), a maker of flat-panel displays, plans to offer 1 billion new shares to domestic and overseas investors, a sale that may raise about NT$10.8 billion (US$311 million). The company plans to sell 600 million shares in overseas markets publicly or privately, it said in a statement.

Quanta Display plans to invest NT$50 billion to build a plant for television and computer panels in northern Taiwan, local media reported last month, without citing anyone.

The company plans to start construction as early as the fourth quarter of next year, the report said.

TSMC denies China slowdown

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufac-turing Co (TSMC, 台積電) may be slowing its plans to build its first plant in China because of the spread of SARS, a local newspaper reported yesterday, citing Huang Ching-tan (黃慶堂), executive secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Investment Commission.

TSMC yesterday denied the report, saying the company is on schedule to provide information to the government on its plans.

The commission also rejected the report.

"TSMC didn't contact us to delay the investment plan in China," Emile Chang (張銘斌), a director at the commission, said.

"As far as we are aware, the plan is still under review," Chang said.

The government on Feb. 26 approved TSMC's investment plan to build the nation's first semiconductor plant in China. TSMC chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) said in January he expects the plant to start production by the fourth quarter next year at the earliest.

NT dollar gains more ground

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday continued to gain ground against its US counterpart, rising NT$0.038 to close at NT$34.657 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turn-over was US$440 million.

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