Wed, Jul 28, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs


Lending growth slows

Bank lending rose 9.1 percent last month, slowing for the first time since September, as lower-than-expected export growth cooled demand for funds for investment.

Total lending by the nation's financial institutions increased to NT$14.9 trillion (US$437 billion) last month, from NT$13.7 trillion a year earlier, the central bank said. Bank loans in May rose at their fastest monthly pace since 1998, with a 10.3 percent increase.

Exports rose 25 percent last month from a year earlier, after surging 40 percent to a record US$15.7 billion in May as government lending curbs cooled demand in China, according to Ministry of Finance statistics.

China plant put on hold

Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) has put on hold plans to build a plant in China after the company's founder, Hsu Wen-lung (許文龍), was criticized for supposed pro-independence leanings, a report said on Tuesday.

"The current political environment makes it difficult ... right now so we are considering alternative venues like Vietnam," Eddie Chen (陳炎松), Chi Mei's chief financial officer, was quoted as saying in the Financial Times.

"Our current stance is to sit back and see how things develop," Chen said.

Chen said the company will have to tread slowly in China until the situation improves.

NT dollar falls

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded lower against its US counterpart, declining NT$0.037 to close at NT$34.135 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

Turnover was US$656 million.

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