Wed, Jul 09, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business briefs 

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

Toyota to assemble minivans

Toyota's car manufacturing venture Kuozui Motors Ltd (國瑞汽車) will start assemble Wish minivans in the third quarter of next year to increase its market share in Taiwan, a company official said yesterday.

"We are ready for the plan and it [Wish] will be the first Toyota minivan we've ever made here," said Yeh Wen-yue (葉文裕), general manager of the government and public affairs department at Kuozui.

The Wish, which competes with Honda's Stream, was the best-selling minivan in Japan in the first six months of this year.

Yeh said Kuozui will assemble the Wish minivans with main parts shipped from Japan, but declined to specify the monthly production of the vehicles. Kuozui which assembles Camry, Corolla and Vios cars, produced about 91,000 vehicles last year.

The Japanese-language Nikkan Kogyo newspaper reported yesterday that Kuozui may make 1,500 a month, without saying where it got the information.

Uni-President, Cargill hook up

Uni-President Enterprises Co (統一企業), Taiwan's largest food maker, said it agreed with Cargill Inc, the biggest US agricultural company, to build a US$50 million soybean crushing plant in China.

The planned plant in Jiangsu Province's Nantong city, about 100km northwest of Shanghai, would be able to process 5,000 tonnes of soybeans a day, said Uni-President spokesman Simon Hung (洪士民). It would be the two companies' second crushing venture in China, after a 7,500 tonne-a-day facility in the southern province of Guangdong.

"We've been very satisfied with our cooperation with Cargill in the past, so we're optimistic about the Nantong plant," Hung said. The partners are waiting for government approval for the factory, which they hope to start building

this year, he said.

TSMC to sell ADRs in the US

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is scheduled to sell about US$874 million worth of US depositary shares after the close of the US market on July 9, according to an e-mail sent by the arrangers to investors.

TSMC will sell about 79 million shares, worth US$874 million based on yesterday's closing price in the US, the e-mail said.

The arrangers may sell another 11.7 million shares, depending on demand, the e-mail said. One US depositary receipt is equivalent to five common shares.

Some 97.8 percent of the shares on offer are being sold by the Cabinet's Development Fund (開發基金), the company said earlier this month.

First Financial may scrap sale

First Financial Holding Co (第一金控), owner of Taiwan's fourth-largest bank by assets, may scrap its sale of as much as US$700 million of shares in Europe and the US after investors sought a bigger discount than the company was willing to give, a banker involved in the transaction said.

Investors offered 100 million global depositary receipts representing 1 billion shares asked for a 30 percent discount to First Financial's local share price, while the company wanted to sell stock at a 10 percent discount, said the banker, who asked not to be identified.

NT dollar rises

The government's decision to relax limits on foreign capital fueled speculation there will be more demand for the local currency, prompting the central bank to curb its advance, traders said.

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday rose NT$0.025 to closed at NT$34.380 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

Turnover was US$574 million.

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