Sat, Nov 15, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

SinoPac looks for partners

SinoPac Holdings Co (建華金控), the nation's 10th-biggest financial holding company by market value, said it hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc as a financial adviser to find merger partners at home and overseas.

Goldman contacted six local financial companies and three overseas lenders to test their interest in merging with SinoPac, Peng said, declining to elaborate.

Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控), First Financial Holding Co (第一金控), Fubon Financial Holding Co(富邦金控), Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控) and Taishin Financial Holdings Co (台新金控) were the banks that Goldman contacted, a Chinese-language newspaper reported earlier. The overseas banks were Citigroup Inc, HSBC Holdings Plc and Standard Chartered Plc, it said, without saying how it obtained the list.

New code-share cooperation

China Airlines Co (華航), Taiwan's largest air carrier, announced yesterday to launch code-share cooperation on the Kaohsiung-Bangkok route with Thai Airways International.

The code-share service, aimed to reduce marketing and operation costs, will start Dec. 1. In the initial stage, the service will include 10 flights per week -- seven flights served by China Airlines and three by Thai Airways.

China Airlines and Thai Airways have made available the code-share flights for reservation on Nov. 1.

"If the cooperation on the Kaohsiung-Bangkok route works well, both sides may expand the cooperation scope in the future," China Airlines said in a statement.

The carrier currently has code-share cooperation with Delta Air Lines, Alitalia, Vietnam Airlines and Guard Indonesia.

Taiwan Salt shares sold

The government said it has successfully sold out 59.35 percent, or 148 million shares, of Taiwan Salt Co (Taisalt, 台鹽) on Wednesday, making the former state-run enterprise into a private entity, according to a statement by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The ministry now holds 40.65 percent of the company's shares.

Following the privatization, Taisalt is scheduled to list on the TAIEX next Tuesday at a price of NT$19.28 per share, the statement said.

Taisalt, with paid-in capital of NT$2.5 billion, reported NT$2.08 billion in sales for the first eight months of the year, up 9.76 percent from a year ago.

ROC guns for FTA with US

The ROC representative office in the US has stepped up efforts to remove obstacles to the start of negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), a senior Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said on Thursday.

Speaking at a regular news conference, Ling Hu-jung, deputy director of the MOFA's North American Affairs Department, said US concerns focus on Taiwan's law enforcement regarding intellectual property rights protection, pharmaceutical pricing formulas, telecommunication market-opening and agricultural trade.

Nanya to sell shares overseas

Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技), Taiwan's biggest maker of computer memory chips, said it is planning to sell as much as US$220 million of bonds overseas which can be converted into its shares.

The planned five-year bonds will be the first overseas issue for the company, Nanya said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

NT dollar holds steady

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday maintained strength against its US counterpart, advancing NT$0.011 to close at NT$33.984 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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