Thu, Mar 04, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

Big bike owners want tax cut

A group of motorcycle owners protested in front of the Ministry of Finance yesterday to urge the government to cut the license-plate tax on their large-engine bikes. The protesters complained that the license-plate tax for their big bikes is three to five times higher than that of private cars with the same-sized engine, which they say is unfair and unreasonable. The tax is based on engine size. Chou Chung-ming (周宗銘), an official with the ministry's taxation agency, told reporters that the protesters' petition is unlikely to succeed since the tax cut proposal was opposed by all local governments during a public hearing last August. Chou said that, although the tax revenues from large-engine motorcycles was more than NT$20 million last year, the number of big bikes registered has recently grown to 13,000, which may translate into over NT$100 million in tax revenues for local governments this year.

Investors optimistic: poll

Stock market investors are very optimistic about the prospects for Taiwan's market, with a confidence index on the bourse jumping by more than 200 percent recently, according to the results of a survey made public yesterday. According to the survey by Shih Hsin University and the Chinese-language Win Win Weekly, the confidence level of local investors rose from 32.85 points in December to 106.82 points last month, a rise of 224 percent. The survey found that male investors are more optimistic than their female counterparts, while high-income people are more optimistic than low-income workers. Some 56 percent of the respondents think that now is a good time to buy shares, the survey said.

Intel Taiwan gets new boss

The US chipmaker Intel Corp announced yesterday that Jason Chen (陳立生) will replace Kelly Wu (吳惠瑜) as country manager for Intel Taiwan. Chen joined Intel Taiwan in 1995 as a technical marketing engineer. Since then he held various positions at the world's largest chipmaker, most recently, district manager of Intel Taiwan, Intel said in a statement. Wu will leave Intel to pursue personal interests, the statement said. WEF official to visit Jose Maria Eigueres, co-chief executive officer of the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, will arrive in Taipei on Sunday. Figueres' three-day visit will focus on promoting the participation of Taiwanese enterprises in the forum and strengthening cooperation between the forum and academic organizations and think tanks in this country. He is scheduled to attend two seminars and call on Minister without Portfolio Tsay Ching-yen (蔡清彥) and other officials in charge of high-tech development .

Nan Ya Plastics Q4 soars

Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠), the nation's biggest maker of plastics, had its biggest quarterly profit in at least two years, boosted by a gain from the sale of shares in an oil-refining affiliate and more demand for raw materials. Profit in the fourth quarter rose to NT$5.76 billion (US$173 million) from NT$2.94 billion a year ago. Sales rose by a third to NT$36.2 billion. The outlook for Nan Ya Plastics is optimistic, said vice president Wu Chia-chau (吳嘉昭). "This year's earnings will be very good because of strong demand for ethylene glycol and electronic materials," Wu said.

NT dollar declines

The New Taiwan dollar lost ground to the greenback yesterday, falling NT$0.054 to NT$33.377 on the Tai-pei foreign exchange market. Turn-over was US$783 million.

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