Sat, Dec 27, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

Hoya Corp opens new plant

Japan-based Hoya Corp, the world's largest supplier of optical glass to the semiconductor industry, on Monday inaugurated a new plant in the Hsinchu Science Industrial Park (新竹科學園區) to make photomasks, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. Photomasks are glass plates containing patterns of a microchip's circuitry. This component is used to produce liquid crystal displays (LCDs). Hoya will initially invest NT$200 million in making photomasks to meet the increasing demand from local LCD manufacturers, the ministry said in a statement. The investment will reach NT$1.5 billion in the next few years, the statement added. As local LCD makers are planning to build fifth-generation flat panel factories, Hoya will also produce photomasks used for large-sized thin-film transistor LCDs (TFT-LCD) in the second half of next year, the statement said.

RBS target budget hotels

The popular Retail Booking System (RBS) called a news conference yesterday in Taipei to attract domestic economy and budget hotels to its worldwide Internet booking service. The system provides backpackers with greater access to more economic options for online hotel bookings, an RBS executive said. Almost all five-star hotels in Taiwan are part of the RBS, and the system now is hoping to seek small and medium-sized hotels to offer foreign customers more short-term accommodation on the Internet, the RBS official said. Lai Seh-jen (賴瑟珍), deputy director-general of the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, said the RBS offers an effective channel for Taiwan's economy hotels and youth hostels to sharpen their international distribution, particularly among the many young and individual backpackers who are the prevailing force in the global tourism market.

China Life to support affiliate

China Life Insurance Co (中國人壽) said it will support an attempt by affiliate KGI Securities Co (中信證券) to secure seats on the board of China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控), a Chinese-language newspaper reported, citing a China Life official. The Taiwanese insurer also urged China Development unit China Development Industrial Bank (中華開發銀行) not to use its 7.1 percent stake in the parent to support management, the report said. The report didn't say how many seats KGI is seeking. KGI holds more than 200 million shares, or 2 percent, in China Development, the newspaper said. China Development, Taiwan's fifth-largest financial services company by market value, is scheduled to hold a shareholders meeting on April 5 to elect a new board. Investors must acquire shares by Feb. 6 to vote. The government plans to ban financial holding companies from using cross-shareholdings with units to keep control of the parent, Finance Minister Lin Chuan (林全) said on Thursday.

Rumors of big buying

Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控), Taiwan's third-largest financial company by market value, said it wants to buy International Investment Trust Co (國際投信), an asset-management company, a Chinese-language newspaper said on Friday. The paper said Mega will pay cash for closely held International Investment Trust.

NT dollar declines

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded lower against its US counterpart, declining NT$0.007 to close at NT$34.052 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$413 million.

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