The Ministry of Economic Affairs is considering appointing Kong Jaw-sheng (龔照勝), currently a board member of Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp (證券交易所), as the new chairman of the state-run Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar, 台糖).
At a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Yi-fu (
Wu announced earlier this month his resignation from the state-run company to join the Democratic Progressive Party's presidential campaign team.
Lin praised Kong, former managing director and Taiwan country manager for Credit Suisse First Boston, as a seasoned banker specializing in financial planning and consulting.
He said he expects the appointment of Kong will help improve Taisugar's business losses.
Taisugar, 97 percent owned by the government, is expected to pay a NT$20.5 billion in cash dividends to its shareholders in July next year, which will reduce the company's large net cash position and weaken its financial flexibility, according to Taiwan Ratings Corp (
As of Oct. 31, Taisugar had cash on hand of NT$60 billion, versus total debt of NT$15 billion.
Taiwan Ratings said Wu's resignation would delay Taisugar's plan to streamline its organizational structure, as the company's major businesses were suffering losses as a result of high personnel costs.
Taisugar often needs to rely on land disposals to support its profit.
Just a week before his resignation, Wu had said the state-run company will downsize its personnel by 45 percent, or 2,500 staff, by next month.
The move, which aims to alleviate the company's financial difficulties, could save Taisugar an estimated NT$3.7 billion annually, he said.
The appointment of Kong is expected to be approved by a company board meeting slated to be held today, according to the ministry.
Kong is not new to Chen Shui-bian's (
In early 2001 Kong had helped the government organize investment forums in Europe and Hong Kong in which then-Minister of Finance Yen Ching-chang (
In May 2001, he also escorted Yen to Washington for a US-ROC Business Council (
Probably because of his close relationship with the Chen administration, as some observers said, Beijing had barred the Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group AG from participating in deals in China that year.
That decision had caused several other banks to drop similar arranged trips later.
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