Wed, Oct 01, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

TRS programs takes effect

Beginning tomorrow, foreign tourists who make one-stop purchases totalling NT$3,000 (US$88.75) or more during their visit can apply for a 5-percent tax rebate upon their departure from Taiwan under a new government program to boost tourism.

Tourists who spend NT$3,000 or more in the same shop with a tax-return-shopping (TRS) logo and take the goods out of the country within 30 days will be eligible for the tax rebate at the airport upon departure.

The Ministry of Finance calculated that the program will reduce the government's business tax revenue by about NT$700 million per year.

More than 20 department stores nationwide have been approved as TRS shops so far.

The tax rebate scheme for foreign tourists is in tune with the government's efforts to double the number of tourist arrivals by 2008.

Fubon Financial ups bond sale

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), the nation's second-largest financial services company, said it increased its sale of convertible bonds to US$245 million.

The company, which sold US$225 million of bonds last week, sold an additional US$20 million of zero-coupon bonds convertible into stock, Fubon said in a statement. The bonds have a conversion price of NT$42.33 a share.

Fubon shares fell NT$0.50, or 1.5 percent, to close at NT$33 today. Citigroup Inc and UBS AG arranged the sale.

Proceeds will be used to refinance debt, including US$430 million of convertible bonds that mature next July, Fubon said earlier.

Chinatrust takes over rival

Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控), owner of the country's largest credit-card issuer, yesterday officially took over smaller rival Grand Commercial Bank (萬通銀行), a lender controlled by Uni-President Group (統一集團).

Grand Commercial yesterday reshuffled its 18-member board and appointed Chinatrust president Luo Lian-fu (羅聯福) to double as its new chairman according to the written statement released by Chinatrust yesterday.

The merger plan will be completed by Dec. 31, the statement added.

LG Electronics names new CEO

LG Electronics Inc yesterday named vice chairman Kim Ssang-soo to replace John Koo as its new chief executive officer, the South Korean electronics manufacturer said in a statement.

Kim joined LG Electronics in 1969 and has been working at the digital appliance area for 35 years, it said.

LG Philips LCD, the joint venture between LG Electronics and Royal Philips Electronics NV, had 21.1 percent of the liquid crystal displays market in the world, leading Samsung Electronics Co with 18.9 percent and Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) with 11.7 percent, according to Austin, Texas-based DisplaySearch.

Siew leaves for US

Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), the head of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) economic advisory panel, left yesterday for the US to promote the signing of a free-trade agreement (FTA) between the US and Taiwan.

Both Taiwan and the US have previously expressed interest in conducting free trade talks, but the US still has misgivings about Taiwan's tax on rice wine, quotas on imported rice and the protection of intellectual property rights.

To help rekindle another around of free-trade talks with the US, Siew is scheduled to meet major US officials this time.

NT dollar gains ground

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded higher against its US counterpart, rising NT$0.010 to close at NT$33.780 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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