Nankang hall gets green light
The long-anticipated international exhibition hall in Taipei City's Nankang area finally cleared the red-tape delaying the project as the Cabinet approved the NT$3.8 billion plan yesterday.
Once completed in October 2005, the two-story, 2,600-booth facility will meet the demand of large-scale international exhibitions in the next 15 years, according to Cabinet Spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍).
Taiwan 50 ETF launched
Premier Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday that the issuance of the Taiwan 50 ETF (exchange traded fund) and index futures are expected to add vitality to the nation's monetary market.
The Taiwan 50 ETF was launched yesterday at the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp, It bundles together 50 TAIEX stocks, including 30 electronics stocks, 11 monetary stocks, two plastics stocks, two textile stocks and five others. ETF can be bought and sold at any time during the trading day.
Commenting on the new financial products, Minister of Finance Lin Chuan (林全) said the expansion of stock and future exchanges will benefit the development of the insurance and banking businesses.
FamilyMart counts Millions
FamilyMart Co (全家便利) yesterday inked a strategic alliance pact with Taiwan Sugar Co (Taisugar,台糖) to include 43 of Taisugar's Million convenience stores (蜜鄰超市) under its umbrella.
The deal is scheduled to take effect early next month, officials from the two companies said at a signing ceremony yesterday.
FamilyMart, the nation's second-largest convenience store chains, operated 1,361 outlets as of last month and is expected to expand its chain to 1,500 stores by the end of the year.
`One China' hampers talks
Plans for talks on a free-trade agreement (FTA) between Taiwan and Singapore have been undercut by political intervention from China, a Chinese-language newspaper reported yesterday.
Singapore had previously agreed to enter the talks under the framework of the WTO but it recently told the government that it would follow the "one-China" principle in FTA negotiations, the paper said, citing unnamed sources.
A Board of Foreign Trade official in charge of the negotiations declined to comment on the report.
"What I can say now is Taiwan does hope it can enter into the talks with Singapore to sign a free-trade agreement," the official said.
Cross-strait trade rising
Trade between Taiwan and China in the first four months of the year rose 29.5 percent from last year to US$13.74 billion, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
Growth in cross-strait trade was slightly slower in April, compared with the 33.2 percent rate reported in the three months to March, reflecting the impact of the SARS outbreak, the ministry said in a statement. In the January-April period, exports to China rose 26.2 percent from a year earlier to US$10.57 billion or some 24 percent of total exports.
EVA cuts profit forecast
Due to the outbreak of SARS, EVA Airways Corp (長榮) cut its net profit forecast for this year to NT$200.74 million (US$5.80 million) from an estimate of NT$2.04 billion made in March, a company spokesman said.
The spokesman said he expects the business to pick up in the third quarter of this year.
NT dollar rises
The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded higher against its US counterpart, up NT$0.003 to close at NT$34.612 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$423 million.