Tue, Sep 30, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs


Long Life to be sold in China

The nation's most popular cigarettes, Long Life, will be sold in China next year, Morgan Hwang (黃營杉), president of the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp (台灣菸酒公司), said yesterday.

Hwang, who visited Chinese authorities in charge of tobacco monopoly sales recently, said Long Life will be sold in the Chinese market through a Chinese company in Hong Kong and Taiwanese distributors in various parts of China.

He estimated that sales of Long Life in China could reach 2 million cases per year, roughly equal to its sales in Taiwan.

His company will begin to select distributors soon.

China imposes duties on PVCs

China imposed import duties on polyvinyl-chlorides, or PVCs, from Taiwan, the US, Japan, South Korea and Russia because they sold the product at below cost in the country, cutting the profit of local producers, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its Web site.

Companies that export PVCs to China will be forced to pay duties based on the amount they sell and the price charged.

The additional duties will be in place for five years starting today, the Beijing-based ministry said.

Repurchase tax considered

The country is considering imposing a tax on interest earned from temporary purchases of bonds, transactions known as repurchase agreements.

The government hasn't made a decision, said Joanne Ling (凌忠嫄), income tax director at the Ministry of Finance, denying a Chinese-language newspaper report.

The move would help reduce tax evasion by wealthy individuals, the report said.

The government is proposing the biggest-ever budget deficit next year, calling for the shortfall to widen 13 percent to NT$257.4 billion (US$7.6 billion).

A tax on interest income may become applicable after the government changed accounting rules to treat repurchase transactions as a form of financing, Ling said.

In repurchase agreements, a bondholder such as an insurer sells securities to an investor such as a mutual fund for a set period, often for one day. At maturity, the securities are returned to the seller and the cash to the buyer.

Seminar to discuss EPZs

The Economic Processing Zone Administration under the Ministry of Economic Affairs will host a seminar in Kaohsiung today to introduce the investment climate in various newly built economic processing zones (EPZs), such as the Pingtung and Touliu EPZs, a spokesman for the administration said yesterday.

The administration will invite potential investors and companies from related industries to the seminar, the spokesman said.

Businesses approved to set up plants in those EPZs will enjoy low rent and investment incentives provided by the government, including a free-trade port area to be set up by the administration to help them sell to the world, he added.

NT dollar strengthens

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded higher against its US counterpart, up NT$0.001 to close at NT$33.790 on the Taipei Foreign Exchange. Turnover was US$898 million.

The NT dollar pared gains on trader speculation the central bank sold its currency to prevent exporters' month-end demand from extending its gains, which threaten to slow exports.

"There's speculation that the central bank sold the NT dollar," said Jerry Ho, a foreign exchange trader at International Bank of Taipei (台北商銀). "It's probably anticipation of rising NT dollar demand from exporters toward the end of the month" that prompted the central bank to sell to prevent the currency from "rising too fast."

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