Wed, Jul 02, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business briefs 

Fund selects asset firms

The state-managed Public Service Pension Fund (退撫基金) will select five foreign asset management firms as it diversifies into international stock indexes and other financial products, officials said yesterday.

"It is to the best of our interests to diversify the investment markets so that we can reduce our investment risk and make good use of the fund," said Chu Wu-hsien (朱武獻), acting chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Public Service Pension Fund.

Under the plan, the board will complete the selection process before the end of this year and NT$300 million will be used to invest in stocks and bonds. The rest of the fund will be used for investment in stock and bond indexes, he said.

The NT$190 billion fund was set up in 1995 to help some 610,000 military personnel, civil servants and teachers manage their retirement funds and make investment gains.

MOEA head visits Paris

Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Yi-fu (林義夫) arrived in Paris on Monday at the head of a large delegation to promote trade and economic cooperation between Taiwan and France.

In addition to trade officials, the delegation includes chief executive officers from both state-owned and private enterprises.

"We are here to seek partners to jointly develop the vast Asian market," Lin said.

During his three-day visit, Lin will meet with senior French officials on bilateral trade and economic issues.

He will also preside over an annual Taiwan-French economic cooperation conference in which Taiwanese officials will introduce the investment climate and incentives to woo French investors.

Starbucks raises stakes

Starbucks Corp, the world's largest coffee-shop chain with about 6,500 outlets, raised its stakes in its Shanghai and Taiwanese ventures to half from 5 percent, aiming to expand further in East Asia.

Starbucks agreed to pay US$21 million to buy 45 percent of the Shanghai chain from partners President Chain Store Co (統一超商) and Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業).

It's paying an undisclosed amount to the same companies for the 45 percent stake in the Taiwanese unit, said Wang Wen-hsin (王文欣), spokeswoman for President Chain.

President Chain and Uni-President, members of President Group, have 30 Starbucks shops in Shanghai and 109 in Taiwan.

Airlines to resume flights

China Airlines Co (華航) and EVA Airways Corp (長榮) will resume full flights to Hong Kong by the end of next month to meet market demand, company officials said yesterday.

China Airlines said it will gradually increase the number of daily flights this month and fully restore the 15-times-a-day service next month if it can manage rescheduling planes.

The carrier has seen up to 80 percent of its flights booked in the past two days, said Charles Chen (陳玉治), a public relations specialist at the airlines.

EVA Airways' service to Hong Kong in the past week has grown to five flights a day and it expects to resume its normal six daily flights on July 10, an EVA official said.

"We have seen reservations coming back to normal levels lately after Taiwan lifted the quarantine requirement for travellers from Hong Kong," the official said.

NT dollar maintains strength

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday maintained its strength against the US dollar, rising NT$0.028 to close at NT$34.584 on the Taiwan foreign exchange market.

Turnover was US$417 million.

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