Sat, Aug 23, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs 

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

More loans for homebuyers

Premier Yu Shyi-kun yesterday decided to extend the preferential mortgage loans to first-time homebuyers, allocating NT$280 billion for the program which will benefit approximately 154,000 households.

The loan' s interest rate will be 2.3 percent -- 1.48 percent less than mortgage loans offered by banks.

According to the Cabinet, the loan policy has benefited a total of 434,663 homebuyers since it was launched in 2000 and generated NT$79.1 billion in tax income to government coffers.

Officials said the policy has propped up the local property market and stimulated spending on household furnishings.

They said first-time homebuyers spent an average of NT$750,000 furnishing their home, which contributed to a 0.76 percent economic growth in 2001 and 1.05 percent growth last year.

TAIFEX signs pact with CBOT

The Taiwan Futures Exchange (TAIFEX) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), the world' s largest future market.

During the signing ceremony, TAIFEX chairman Sam Wang (王得山) said that the partnership will facilitate information exchange between the two future markets.

He said that CBOT has a lot of new financial products and expertise in enhancing the market's turnover that TAIFEX can learn from.

Pact with El Salvador signed

The government signed a cooperation agreement with El Salvador yesterday, pledging to redress that country's trade imbalance with Taiwan.

China External Trade Development Council Chairman Hsu Chi-jen (許志仁) signed the agreement with El Salvador's Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Eugenia Brizuela de Avila.

Council officials said that in view of the trade surpluses enjoyed over a long period of time by Tai-wan with the five Central American countries, the government has decided to promote imports from those countries and investment in the countries by Taiwanese manu-facturers in a bid to redress the imbalances.

The officials said exports to El Salvador totaled US$70.78 million for 2001, down from US$87.66 million for 2000, while imports into Taiwan from El Salvador increased from US$532,000 in 2000 to US$1.177 million in 2001.

CDIC inks MOU with KAMCO

The Central Deposit Insurance Corp (中央存保) signed a memorandum of understanding with its South Korean counterpart yesterday to establish formal ties.

Tsay Chin-tsair (蔡進財), chairman of the Central Deposit, noted that South Korea suffered a deterioration in both its financial and corporate sectors during the Asian financial crisis of 1997, and saw a sharp rise non-performing loans as a result.

The Korea Asset Management Corporation (KAMCO) was reorganized in 1997 and put in charge of handling non-performing bank loans.

KAMCO has adopted aggressive measures to effectively resolve the non-performing loan problem, Tsay said.

"Taiwan can learn from South Korea's experience," Vice Minister of Finance Susan Chang (張秀蓮) said.

NT dollar holds its ground

The New Taiwan dollar remained strong against its US counterpart, up NT$0.021 to close at NT$34.217 on the Taipei foreign exchange market Friday. Turnover was US$1.01 billion.

Morgan Stanley expects the NT dollar to rise to NT$33.50 against its US counterpart by the end of the year, said Andy Xie (謝國忠), Hong Kong-based chief economist at Morgan Stanley.

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