Wed, Nov 26, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

China Airlines to sell bonds

China Airlines Co (華航) plans to sell NT$10 billion (US$293.3 million) worth of bonds next year to pay for new Boeing aircraft and settle long-term loans, a company official said yesterday. The airline will use NT$7.5 billion (US$220 million) raised from the bond sale to pay for two B747-400 passenger planes to be delivered late next year, the official said on condition of anonymity. The two jets are among 22 aircraft the airline purchased last year. The deals include 12 medium-range Airbus A330-300s and 10 long-haul Boeing B747-400s. The company would use the balance of the bond proceeds to repay long-term loans, the official said. It aims to sell the bonds in February at a premium of between 5 percent and 20 percent over its stock price, she added.

Chip price hike expected

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufactu-ring Co (TSMC, 台積電), its Taiwa-nese rivals and those in China will raise chip prices because orders are increasing and their factories are operating at full capacity, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, without saying where it obtained the information. TSMC, United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) and Shanghai's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際集成電路) will raise prices by up to 15 percent in the first quarter, the report said.

Money supply grows 5.7%

Taiwan's money supply last month grew at the fastest pace in two years because the stock market picked up and more funds were invested from overseas, the central bank said. M2, the broadest measure of the money supply, grew 5.7 percent last month from a year earlier after expanding 4.9 percent in September, the bank said in a statement. M2, which measures currency in circulation, checking and savings accounts and money-market funds, had its fastest growth since October 2001. The M1B money supply, which excludes time deposits and foreign-currency deposits included in the M2 money supply, rose 19 percent last month after increasing 16 percent in September. M1A, which tracks net currency in circulation plus checking accounts and passbook deposits, grew 18 percent after expanding 13 percent in September, the central bank said.

Bank loans up 2.5% in October

Bank lending in Taiwan rose 2.5 percent last month from a year earlier as the nation's improving economy encouraged more companies to borrow money to fund expansion. Total loans by 405 financial institutions -- including the central bank, local and foreign lenders, and credit cooperatives -- rose to NT$13.71 trillion (US$402 billion) last month, from NT$13.37 trillion last year. Bank lending fell 0.2 percent from September.

Investment rules could slacken

The government could allow the nation's insurers to invest overseas without seeking permission each time, provided the amount is within the approved limit, a Chinese-language newspaper said, citing an unidentified government official. The government allowed insurers to put in more than NT$1 trillion (US$29 million) in overseas securities so far, of which NT$900 billion have been invested, the paper said. In January the legislature approved a rule change, allowing insurers to invest as much as 35 percent of their assets overseas, compared with a previous limit of 20 percent.

NT dollar remains weak

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday remained weak against its US counterpart, declining NT$0.040 to close at NT$34.110 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$459.5 million.

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