Fri, Jun 25, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ Biotech fair planned

Taiwan will host a four-day biotechnology trade fair, BioTaiwan, next month, with foreign participants coming from the Nether-lands, the US, Thailand, Australia and the Philippines, organizers said yesterday.

The event, from July 21 to July 24, will consist of a series of conferences, forums and exhibitions. It will feature over 700 booths, up from more than 500 last year, and is expected to lure nearly 100,000 visitors, said Chien I-chung (簡義忠), secretary general of the Taiwan Bio-Industry Organization (生物產業發展協會).

The APEC Biotechnology Conference 2004 is to take place on July 19. Guest speakers from APEC member countries including the US, New Zealand and Australia are to discuss regulations and opportunities of bio-generics, Chien said.

BioBusiness Asia will be held on July 20 and 21 to serve as a platform for exchanges in the Asia-Pacific region, he added.

■ Procomp raided

A Taipei district court yesterday formally opened an investigation into allegations against Procomp Informatic Ltd (博達科技) chairwoman Yeh Su-fei (葉素菲) concerning a possible violation of the Securities Transaction Law (證券交易法) and breach of trust, according to Chiu Chih-hung (邱智宏) of the Shihlin Proscutors' Office.

Around 60 investigators searched nine locations for financial documents and accounting records, including the company's offices, Yeh's residence and the houses of her important aides, including her brothers Yeh Meng-ping (葉孟屏) and Yeh Meng-chuan (葉孟川), and former treasury chief Lin Shih-lung (林世隆).

Yeh Shu-fei didn't show up for work yesterday.

The chipmaker defaulted on corporate bonds worth NT$3 billion, which were due last Thursday. Procomp has an additional NT$5.9 billion in unpaid bank loans, Yeh said last week. The scandal has forced securities authorities to suspend the company's shares from trading, beginning yesterday.

■ M2 money supply up 8.6 percent

The nation's money supply grew in May at its fastest pace in almost five years as companies increased borrowing to fund expansion amid surging overseas demand.

M2, the broadest measure of the nation's money supply, expanded 8.6 percent from a year earlier after growing 8.5 percent in April, the central bank said in a statement. That was its biggest gain since August 1999.

M1A, which tracks net currency in circulation plus checking accounts and passbook deposits, expanded 27 percent last month after growing 26 percent in April.

■ Multi-layer marketing growing

One person in nearly every two households took part in multi-layer marketing (MLM) activities last year, the highest ratio in the world, the latest survey by the Fair Trade Commission showed yesterday.

The survey showed that 3.81 million people took part in MLM activities last year, up 549,000 from the previous year. One person out of every 1.85 households took part in multi-layer activities, up from one person in every 2.12 households the previous year.

But the statistics also showed that among those who took part in MLM activities, only 25.5 percent ordered goods, and among these, only about half received cash awards, with the average being NT$35,478 (US$1,052) a year.

Commission officials said that an average MLM scheme has 19.2 full-time staff with each of them having to serve 945 people.

■ NT dollar advances

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday advanced NT$0.073 against its US counterpart to close at NT$33.707 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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