Tue, Jul 29, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business briefs 

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

Recession abated in June

The country climbed out of a recession in June after the impact of SARS abated, according to a report released yesterday by the Council for Economic Planning and Development.

The council said the economic composite indicator for last month stood at 20 points, up from 14 points recorded in May.

The 20 points was in the "yellow-blue" level, recovering from May's reading in the "blue" level which means recession.

However, the yellow-blue level indicates that economic activity remains slow. The local economy contracted in April and May.

Out of the seven indicators last month, factory orders, export value, the average monthly working hours in the manufacturing sector, housing start applications, M1B money supply and stock prices improved in June. However, wholesale prices fell last month.

Taipei's costliness down

Taipei is the world's 36th most expensive city, tied with Shanghai, Moscow and Abidjan, research institute Economist Intelligence Unit reported yesterday.

The Economist Intelligence Unit's latest Worldwide Cost of Living survey shows that Taipei has slipped from 20th place 12 months ago due to the strengthening euro that has sent many European cities higher up the rankings.

Japan still holds the number one and two positions for Tokyo and Osaka/Kobe, but Hong Kong has slipped from third to fifth most expensive city in the world.

The seven remaining top 10 positions all go to European cities. Europe saw the fastest climbers, with Dublin leaping 34 places to number 24 and Frankfurt 33 places to 22.

Shin Kong buys into lender

Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光金控), the nation's second-largest life insurer, said it owns about three percent of International Bank of Taipei (台北國際商銀).

"We have bought shares," Shin Kong vice president Victor Hsu said in an interview.

He declined to be more specific.

Taishin Financial Holdings Co (台新金控) and Shin Kong are both controlled by the Wu family. A Chinese-language newspaper reported earlier Taishin wants to merge International Bank of Taipei with its unit Taishin International Bank (台新銀行).

Tainan park revenues up

Business revenues received in May and last month by the optoelectronics and semiconductor industries in the Tainan Science-based Industrial Park increased 25.99 percent and 23.97 percent respectively over the same period of last year.

According to statistics compiled by the Southern Science-Based Industrial Park Administration, revenues received by the optoelectronics industry during the two-month period totaled NT$12.43 billion, or 56 percent of the total revenues received by all companies in the industrial park.

Revenues received by the semiconductor industry in the same period totaled NT$8.9 billion, or 40 percent of the total revenues.

Business revenues of the precision machinery, biotechnology, and communications industries in the park also increased significantly, according to the same statistics.

The revenues received by all companies in the park totaled NT$22.07 billion in May and last month.

The revenues received by all companies in the park totaled NT$22.07 billion in May and last month.

NT dollar rises

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded higher against its US counterpart, rising NT$0.017 to close at NT$34.388 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

Turnover was US$236 million.

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