Sat, Jul 24, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

S&P reaffirms rating

International ratings agency Stan-dard and Poor's Ratings Services yesterday maintained its long-term foreign currency rating for the country. Taiwan's AA- and A-1+ ratings were reaffirmed by the ratings company and the outlook for its debt remained stable.

But S&P said uncertainty over economic policies still exists in the nation.

"Some polls have yet to be conducted, including that for Taiwan's legislature. Results could also affect economic and political stability," the agency said in a statement, citing S&P's credit analyst Ping Chew (周彬).

LCD investment growth to slow

The rate of investment to expand output of liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) used in televisions and computers will slow next year to 22 percent, market researcher Information Network said.

"The worldwide market for processing equipment for LCDs will reach US$4.8 billion in 2004, growing to nearly US$6 billion in 2005,'' Information Network ana-lyst Robert Castellano said in an e-mailed report.

"Revenues grew 19 percent in 2003 and will follow with a 51 percent gain in 2004," he said.

LCD prices in the second quarter fell for the first time in almost 18 months, according to market researcher Isuppli Corp. TV screen prices declined by as much as 5 percent per month in the second quarter, and panels used in computer monitors fell by a smaller amount, Isuppli analyst Paul Semenza said.

Come home, Chen says

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) urged overseas Taiwanese businessmen to return home to cash in on the new economic boom.

Chen made the appeal while meeting with representatives of the Council of Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce in Asia.

Quoting forecasts by several private economic think tanks, Chen said the nation's economic growth rate will reach 6 percent or even more this year.

"This indicates that our economy has resumed robust growth. We welcome all overseas Taiwan businessmen to return to share the new benefits," Chen said.

High Speed Rail to sell shares

Taiwan High Speed Rail Co's (台灣高鐵) board yesterday was sche-duled to discuss a plan to sell NT$17 billion (US$500 million) of preferred shares, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, without saying where it obtained the information.

The company is building the high-speed link between Taipei and Kaohsiung. Taiwan High Speed Rail will have to raise NT$53.4 billion between September and November next year, the paper said.

Plane crash suits sent to Taiwan

China Airlines Co (華航) and Boeing Co won the transfer of lawsuits filed over a 2002 plane crash to Taiwan's courts from California.

US District Judge Margaret Morrow in Los Angeles agreed with Boeing and China Airlines' argument that US courts are an inconvenient forum.

Families of 121 people killed in the crash had sought to keep the cases in the US, where they can sue for products liability and pay lawyers with proceeds from any recovery.

The suits claim that the airlines' plane had structural and mechanical problems that were compounded by faulty maintenance. The Boeing 747-200 carrying 225 passengers and crew from Taiwan to Hong Kong broke up in midair and crashed over the Taiwan Strait, killing all on board.

NT dollar down

The new Taiwan dollar yesterday declined against its US counterpart, falling NT$0.071 to close at NT$34.065 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

Turnover was US$521 million.

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