Sat, Nov 29, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Formosa Petrochemical plans NT$7.72 billion IPO

BLOOMBERG AND AFP , TAIPEI

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) plans to raise as much as NT$7.72 billion (US$225 million) in its first share sale.

Formosa Petrochemical will offer 179.5 million existing shares, or a 2.3 percent stake, for NT$43 each starting Monday and ending Thursday, according to a Securities and Futures Commission statement. Three-quarters of the shares will be offered to individual investors.

Capital Securities Corp (群益證券) is managing the sale.

Regulations prevent companies from offering new stock in initial public offerings. The stock will begin trading in Taipei on Dec. 26.

Formosa Petrochemical predicts its profit will rise to NT$18.6 billion next year from a projected NT$17.9 billion this year, according to Taiwan Stock Exchange statements. Sales may rise to NT$241.4 billion next year from NT$223.4 billion this year.

Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑), the flagship of Formosa Plastics Group, owns a third of Formosa Petrochemical. The group is the nation's biggest industrial conglomerate and is reportedly planning to build a NT$1.26 trillion (US$36.84 billion) industrial complex in Taoyuan County, local press reported yesterday, without saying where the information was obtained.

Development of the 3,510 hectare complex, probably the nation's biggest ever private sector investment project, was expected to generate NT$745 billion in annual output and at least 11,800 job opportunities, a Taoyuan County Government official said.

The Formosa group originally planned to build a new seaport in Taoyuan County for NT$57.1 billion, but decided to expand the investment to include a steel mill, a coal-fired power plant and an industrial park in the latest proposal.

The Taoyuan port would have 33 berths with cargo capacity reaching 102 million tonnes by 2021, making it the second-biggest port in the country, the official said.

The proposed steel mill would have an annual output of 10 million tonnes and the power plant would generate 4.8 million kilowatts a year.

The proposal required further evaluation by county and central governments, the official said.

Formosa group officials were not immediately available for comment.

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