Tue, Aug 10, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Tax training program starts

The Ministry of Finance opened a training program for local and foreign tax personnel yesterday at its Taxation Training Institute in Taipei.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the ministry's 20th International Taxation Academy, Deputy Minister of Finance Lin Tseng-chi (林增吉) said that one of the major tasks of their efforts to promote taxation reform is to seek international cooperation.

Lin said besides continuing to sponsor activities aimed at boosting exchanges on tax affairs with foreign countries, the ministry will also seek to sign international tax accords. He said that Taiwan has already contacted 27 countries on this issue. Attendees at the ministry-sponsored program include individuals from the Czech Republic and Russia, according to the institute.

Also at the training program are David Noren, a US tax official, Dennis Calfee of the Law Institute of the University of Florida and Thomas Evans, co-partner of the law firm Kirkland and Ellis.

Formosa Plastics rating cut

Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑), the country's largest maker of polyvinyl chloride, was reduced to "neutral" from "outperform" by Credit Suisse First Boston, which cited a possible earnings slowdown.

Formosa Plastics' polyethylene and polypropylene margins may face pressure in the second quarter, CSFB said in a report. Polyethylene and polypropylene are used to make plastic products.

CSFB has a target price of NT$55 on the stock. It rose 0.4 percent to NT$46.70 yesterday.

Formosa Chemicals and Fiber Co (台塑化纖), a sister company to Formosa Plastics and one of the country's largest petrochemical makers, was raised by CSFB to "outperform" from "neutral," as its products benefit from high oil prices.

CSFB has a target price of NT$65 on the stock. It increased 1 percent to NT$49.50 today.

HSBC offers Almighty Mortgage

HSBC Taiwan introduced a new mortgage product yesterday with two financial incentives, the company announced at a press conference.

The new mortgage product, "Almighty Mortgage," combines all the advantages of offset mortgages and revolving loans, but adds to that insurance coverage for the borrower, Jack Shen (沈家齊), HSBC Taiwan's marketing vice president, said at the conference.

Citing a recent survey conducted by HSBC, Shen said many customers wanted to see banks offer insurance protection for the borrower in case an accident prevents the client from paying back the mortgage.

The bank would provide new customers with free compulsory earthquake insurance for one year and a 50-percent discount on the purchase of HSBC investment products, Shen said.

Compal to buy back shares

Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶), whose stock has slid 27 percent this year, said it may spend as much as NT$4 billion (US$117 million) to buy back 100 million shares.

The Taipei-based company, the world's second-largest maker of notebook computers, plans to buy the shares for as much as NT$40 each, it said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The buyback will start today and last through Oct. 9.

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達), the world's largest notebook-computer maker, said last week it plans to buy back as many as 20 million shares for as much as NT$65 each.

NT dollar advances

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded higher against its US counterpart, advancing NT$0.050 to close at NT$34.106 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$395 million.

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