CAL unit inks deal with FSI
China Airlines Co (華航) said yesterday that its InterContinental Aerocraft Service (聯成航太) unit has signed a contract with Flight Structure Inc (FSI) of the US to team up to undertake an aircraft freighter conversion business.
The alliance will seek to convert old Boeing 737-300 and 737-400 passenger airplanes into freighters. The aim to convert 120 to 150 aircraft over the next 10 years in a business worth NT$21 billion (US$617.6 million).
InterContinental chairman Liu Ching-yao (劉景耀) and FSI representative Keith Aakre inked the contract in Taoyuan.
FSI is a unit of BE Aerospace, a US-based aircraft components supplier.
InterContinental is a Taiwan-based joint venture equally owned by China Airlines, EVA Airways Corp (長榮), Air Asia (亞洲航空) and Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (漢翔).
Chinatrust's bond sale OK'd
Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託銀行) yesterday said the Ministry of Finance approved its planned NT$5 billion (US$147 million) sale of bonds backed by residential mortgage loans.
The bonds, which will be sold by Deutsche Bank AG in five different classes, will be backed by 2,890 home loans extended to 1,958 borrowers, the company said in a statement.
The bonds will be sold to domestic investors in a private placement by the end of next month. Lehman Brothers Holding Inc is advising the bank on the sale.
The offer is the third collateralized loan obligation since the Industrial Bank of Taiwan (台灣工銀) completed a sale of bonds backed by existing loans in February.
Chinese Petroleum seeks buyer
Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油) said it's seeking a Middle Eastern country to buy shares in the company as the government prepares to reduce its 100 percent stake.
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the federated United Arab Emirates, agreed to buy a 15 percent stake in Chinese Petroleum, a local newspaper reported yesterday.
The company's deputy director of industrial relations, Liao Tsang-long (廖滄龍), however, denied that a stake sale agreement has been concluded.
Company chairman Kuo Chin-tsai (郭進財) addressed potential investors during a visit to the Middle East earlier this month, Liao said. Some countries expressed an interest and are evaluating the opportunity, he said, declining to identify potential bidders.
"We hope to have an investor that can contribute to our refining, production, management and development operations," Liao said.
The government announced in January that it wanted to sell 55.23 percent of the company this year.
Kaohsiung Harbor going deeper
Kaohsiung Harbor plans to build a 16m-deep container terminal to boost its competitiveness, a harbor official said yesterday.
"The No. 6 Container Terminal will have four wharves and can handle 2 million TEUs (20ft equivalent unit) when it is completed in 2009," said Yang Yi-chung, director of the harbor Bureau's Construction Division.
The harbor's five container terminals are only 15m deep.
According to Yang, the project is a build-operate-transfer project, with the government providing NT$1.6 billion (US$47 million) and the private sector raising NT$10 billion (US$294 million).
In 2001, Kaohsiung lost its ranking as the world's No. 3 container port to Busan, South Korea.
NT dollar loses ground
The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded lower against its US counterpart, declining NT$0.005 to close at NT$34.005 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$550 million.
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