Joint venture wins rail project \n \nA joint venture between Australian construction company Barclay Mowlem Rail Group and Teco Electric and Machinery Co (東元電機) secured a NT$3.3 billion contract to build the Tsoying Depot in southern Taiwan for the Taiwan High Speed Rail project, statements from both companies said yesterday. \nThe Tsoying Depot is expected to carry out routine inspections and service rolling stock for the new high-speed railway link between Taipei and Kaohsiung, which is scheduled to open in 2005. \nThe joint venture will construct 31 structures on the 40-hectare Tsoying site, including ballasted track rail sidings, rail storage areas and signaling facilities, and large steel-framed portal constructions and workshops. \nChina Airlines adding flights \nChina Airlines Co (華航) plans to add flights to Honolulu and Frankfurt to meet an increase in demand as the SARS epidemic subsides. \nThe carrier will add two flights a week to Honolulu from Taipei starting next Thursday, boosting the number to seven a week, public relations specialist Joseph Wu (武志厚) said. The airlines will also add a fourth weekly flight to Frankfurt starting two days later, he said. \nChina Airlines' sales fell 13 percent to NT$5.35 billion (US$156 million) last month from a year ago. \nTaiwan may pay less for LNG \n \nThe state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油) may pay less than US$3 per million British thermal units for liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar, below the average price for the fuel in East Asia, Tex Report's Daily Energy edition said, without saying where it obtained the information. \nThe price to be paid by Chinese Petroleum for LNG from Qatar's Ras Laffan venture was based on an assumed oil price of US$20 per barrel, Tex said. LNG prices are typically set by a formula that's linked to benchmark oil prices. \nJapanese buyers now pay an average US$3.80 per million British thermal units for LNG, based on the same assumed oil price, Tex said. \nChinese Petroleum last week won a NT$298.2 billion (US$8.7 billion) contract to supply the LNG bought from Qatar to Taiwan Power Co (台電) for 25 years starting in 2008. \nDoCoMo urges share swap \nNTT DoCoMo Inc, Japan's top mobile operator, wants its Taiwanese unit, KG Telecommunications Co (和信電訊), to swap shares with bigger rival Far EasTone Telecom-munications Co (遠傳電信) instead of cash for a merger to avoid losses, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, without citing its sources. \nThe paper said Far EasTone chairman Douglas Hsu (徐旭東) has a tentative agreement with NTT DoCoMo to swap shares, adding that Far EasTone's offer of NT$12 a share for KG Telecom would lead to losses on NTT DoCoMo's investment in KG Telecom. \nYang to quit bank job \n \nYang Tze-kaing (楊子江), who has been appointed vice minister of Finance, will quit his presidency at the China Development Industrial Bank (CDIB, 中華開發工銀) to take up his new job next Wednesday, the lender's parent company China Development Financial Holding Co (中華開發金控) said yesterday in a statement. \nTo replace Yang, the board of China Development Financial yesterday appointed Benny Hu (胡定吾), CDIB's chairman, to double as the bank's president. \nNT dollar continues gains \nThe New Taiwan dollar yesterday continued its strength against its US counterpart, rising NT$0.009 to close at NT$34.341 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. \nTurnover was US$1.054 billion.
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) plans to reopen its guestrooms in December to take advantage of a boom in domestic travel. The reopening would come six months after the five-star facility suspended room operations to cut costs as countries across the region impose border controls to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, diminishing demand for business travel. “We are delighted to share that Mandarin Oriental Taipei will resume room operations on December 1,” the hotel said in a statement yesterday. The hotel in Songshan District (松山) said it would adopt stringent health and safety practices to ensure the well-being of its guests and employees. It
HSBC Bank (Taiwan) Ltd (匯豐台灣商銀) has approved two sustainability-linked loans totaling NT$450 million (US$15.55 million) for Taya Group (大亞集團) and Sinbon Electronics Co (信邦電子), the bank said yesterday, adding that interest rates would fall if the borrowers’ sustainability performance improves. Those marked the first sustainability-linked loans granted by HSBC Taiwan, it said. While HSBC Taiwan has experience providing green loans for the nation’s developers of renewable energy sources to support their projects, the bank began focusing on sustainability-linked loans to meet rising demand from companies in other sectors planning to undertake sustainability programs, it said. “As we reward our clients who reach their
‘NEW TRAVEL MARKET’: The carrier initially planned to lay off about 8,000 people globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 percent of its workforce Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) would cut 6,000 jobs and close its Cathay Dragon brand, the South China Morning Post reported, as part of a strategic review to combat the unprecedented damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hong Kong-based airline is expected to officially announce the plan after the market close today, the newspaper said. It initially planned about 8,000 layoffs globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 percent of its total workforce, including about 5,000 jobs in Hong Kong, it said. The company, which posted a HK$9.9 billion (US$1.3 billion) loss in the first half, has for months
LEANNESS-ENHANCING DRUG: Assigning a commodity classification to meat containing ractopamine could come under scrutiny by the WTO, the economic affairs minister said Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) yesterday rejected opposition lawmakers’ calls to assign a product code for US pork and beef containing ractopamine. Facing a barrage of questions from lawmakers at a meeting of the legislature’s Economics Committee, Wang said that giving meat containing residues of ractopamine a commodity classification code would sow confusion and could come under scrutiny by the WTO. “Ractopamine is not a [meat] product, it is an additive,” said Wang, when questioned by Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator Chiu Chen-yuan (邱臣遠). “If we had a serial code for every additive it would cause confusion. There is