Fri, Mar 26, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ Formosa hikes prices

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) announced yesterday that it will raise its wholesale gasoline and diesel prices by NT$0.6 per liter, an average increase of 3.56 percent, because of a rise in international crude oil prices.

The price increase took effect at midnight last night.

Formosa's announcement came one day after Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油) hiked its prices on those items.

The new rate will take effect at midnight yesterday.

National Petroleum Corp (全國加油站), which buys oil products from Formosa, said despite the price hikes, it will continue its NT$2.5 per liter discount for consumers using their member cards till the end of the year.

■ Concern voiced over board meet

China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控) issued a statement yesterday that it's subsidiary China Development Industrial Bank (開發工銀), which holds a 7 percent stake in its parent company, won't cast votes in an upcoming board election.

China Development plans to hold a board meeting on April 5.

KGI Securities Co (中信證) and its affiliate Chin Life Insurance Co (中國人壽) have a joint 6.2 percent stake in China Development and have discussed seeking a greater say on the company's board.

Citing the insurance law, China Development yesterday argued that any insurers' stock investments should aim for capital gains instead of a management takeover, the statement said.

■ Water price hike mulled

Deputy director of Water Resources Agency Chen Shen-hsien (陳伸賢) said yesterday that water prices may be adjusted in September, but the range of the hike has not yet been decided.

Chen Shen-hsien's comment came in response to a suggestion by Taiwan Water Supply Corp (自來水公司) chairman Chen Chih-yi (陳志奕) yesterday that water prices should be raised from NT$9.5 per cubic meter to NT$13.5 per cubic meter. The businessman said the rates have been frozen for 10 years and no longer reflect current costs.

■ CAL sets recruiting goals

China Airlines (華航) said it plans to recruit 100 pilots, 80 flight attendants and about 130 engineers and maintenance crew this year, the carrier said in a statement yesterday.

The airline currently employs more than 9,000 people worldwide. But the introduction of new aircraft and new routes means the company needs to recruit new staff beginning next month, it said.

"China Airlines will introduce seven aircraft this year and new passenger services to Seattle, Houston and Hiroshima,"the statement said.

■ M2 rises 6.8%

The nation's M2 money supply rose 6.8 percent from a year earlier in February, its fastest in three years, the central bank said in a statement.

That followed a 6.5 percent expansion in January and is the biggest gain since January 2001. Taiwan's M2, the broadest measure of the nation's money supply, grew 3.8 percent last year.

Taiwan's M1B money supply, which excludes time deposits and foreign-currency deposits included in M2, grew 20.4 percent last month, the bank said in yesterday's statement.

M1A, which tracks net currency in circulation plus checking accounts and passbook deposits, expanded 18.6 percent last month.

■ NT dollar dips slightly

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded lower against its US counterpart, declining NT$0.027 to close at NT$33.278 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

Turnover was US$599 million.

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