Tue, Jul 13, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ MOEA mulls proposals

Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) said yesterday that the government is still reviewing applications from petrochemical operators to invest in China.

Ho made the remarks in the wake of media reports that the ministry has completed its planning for the opening of petrochemical operators to invest in China and is ready to approve such moves in December.

Ho said that those sectors that feel the need to invest in China can apply to the ministry according to regulations, and they will receive a comprehensive review by the Industrial Development Bureau.

In addition to the bureau, a team of officials from industry, government and academia will also discuss the matter before sending the applications to the Executive Yuan for approval.

■ Ritek slides on S&P rating

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed yesterday its `B+' corporate credit rating on Ritek Corp (錸德) and its senior unsecured bond issues, the international ratings agency said in a statement.

At the same time, the outlook on the rating was revised to stable from positive, the company said.

Ritek is one of the world's leading manufacturers of optical storage media products, such as compact discs-recordable (CD-Rs) and digital versatile discs-recordable (DVD-Rs) related products.

The rating reflects very competitive and highly cyclical market conditions as well as the com-pany's relatively aggressive financial policies and its weak long-term investments, the S&P statement said.

These weaknesses are partially offset by Ritek's leading global market position, its said.

S&P yesterday also affirmed its `BB-' corporate credit rating on CMC Magnetics Corp (中環) and the firm's convertible bond issue.

At the same time, the outlook on the rating was revised to stable from positive, S&P said in another statement.

CMC had a strong operating performance last year and robust earnings in the first quarter of this year, as a result of recovering CD-R prices and lucrative margins on DVD-R products.

■ Firms seek direct China links

Taiwanese businesses want most for the government to open direct links with China, a Chinese language newspaper reported, citing its own survey conducted last month.

Two-thirds of respondents said the government should make direct links with China its top priority, the report said, citing a survey of 506 businesspeople.

Second and third on the wish list were increased government spending and an improved financial industry, the survey showed.

The government last year estimated that direct air and shipping links with China could save as much as NT$14.8 billion a year for airlines and shipping companies.

The cost of transportation between China and Taiwan could may decrease by as much as 30 percent, the government report showed.

■ China Motor buys back shares

China Motor Co (中華汽車), which makes Mitsubishi Motor Corp cars, said it bought NT$453 million (US$13 million) worth of its stock in the last four weeks.

China Motor bought 10 million shares at an average price of NT$45.34 a share, completing a buyback plan it began on June 15, the company said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

■ NT dollar gains ground

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday moved up against its US counterpart, advancing NT$0.019 to close at NT$33.700 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

Turnover was US$369 million.

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