Sat, Jul 17, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Yuan exchange considered

The government is reviewing whether to open a Chinese currency exchange service, a Main-land Affairs Council official said yesterday. Council Vice Chairman Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) said that the central bank and the Financial Supervision Commission will discuss whether to open Taiwan to the yuan. He noted that, according to the Statute Governing the Relations between the People of the Taiwan area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例), an exchange service can be set up if Taiwan and China sign a currency settlement agreement. Chiu said that the statute also provides for such a service even without the signing of an agreement and added that the service could first be opened on Kinmen and Matsu on a trial basis. He said that the central bank and supervision commission are considering the demands of the financial sector and the possible impact on cross-strait exchanges.

■ Chinatrust buys HK film shares

Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) will buy a 10th of the new shares offered by Golden Harvest Entertainment Ltd (嘉禾) to help the Hong Kong-based film distributor expand sales in this country, a Chinese-language newspaper reported. Li Ka-shing (李嘉誠), Asia's richest businessman, on May 21 paid HK$34.6 million (US$4.4 million) for 17 percent of Golden Harvest, becoming the second-largest shareholder. Chinatrust will become the third-largest shareholder, according to the report. The money raised from stake sales to Chinatrust will be used to buy movie theaters in Taiwan that belong to Time Warner Inc, the paper reported.

■ Taishin to buy Tenth Credit

Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), the owner of the nation's second-biggest issuer of credit cards, plans to buy Hsinchu Tenth Credit Cooperative (新竹十信) by the end of this month, as it tries to increase its customer base and boost market share. Taishin International is conducting due diligence procedures on Tenth Credit and will need the approval from parent company Taishin Financial Holdings Ltd (台新金控), chief financial officer Carol Lai (賴昭吟) said. "We are always seeking new channels of business and this meets our requirement,'' Lai said. Lai said the price Taishin Bank will pay for the cooperative is still being negotiated. She denied that Taishin Bank would pay NT$4 billion (US$118 million) as reported by a Chinese-language newspaper yesterday. Taishin Bank will have 101 outlets after the acquisition, up from 89.

■ New Citigroup spokesperson

Citigroup Taiwan yesterday appointed Wang Mei-ying (王美音) as its new spokesperson and director of corporate affairs, effective July 26, the bank said in a statement yesterday. Wang was appointed to replace Joyce Chen (陳昭如) who left the bank in May to head the human resources department at the China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控). Wang was with Citibank Taiwan and held positions in a number of areas from 1988 to 1995. She moved to Canada in 1996 and returned to Taiwan in 2000 as an outside director for Ritek Corp (錸德) and other listed and non-listed companies in various capacities, according to the statement.

■ NT dollar higher

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded higher against its US counterpart, advancing NT$0.034 to close at NT$33.877 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$609 million.

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