Chunghwa ownership rate up
Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation's largest phone company, had its overseas ownership limit raised to 35 percent from 20 percent, an executive said.
The government raised the limit because "foreign investors are buying more and more Chunghwa Telecom shares," company vice president Chen Cheng-chang (陳成章) said in a telephone interview.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications owns about 65 percent of Chunghwa Telecom. Overseas investors currently hold 17 percent, according to Chen.
The government earlier this year said it aims to sell a 14 percent stake in Chunghwa Telecom this year to help plug the budget deficit, estimated at a record NT$312.9 billion (US$9.12 billion). The company has yet to reach an agreement with its union about the planned sale, Chen said.
Bailout funds for banks sought
The Financial Supervisory Comm-ission plans to ask the Legislative Yuan to add NT$280 billion (US$8 billion) to the banking bailout fund, a Chinese-language newspaper said yesterday, citing commission vice chairman Susan Chang (張秀蓮).
The Financial Restructuring Fund (金融重建基金), a NT$140 billion bailout fund, was created in July 2001 to help banks clean up bad loans and dispose of failed lenders. The fund is now left with some NT$40 billion in available capital after clearing debts for 44 financial institutions.
The Financial Supervisory Com-mission held discussions with various insurance companies regarding corporate governance over the last few months, the commission said in a statement yesterday.
"Promoting corporate governance is not only in line with the world trend, but also a move to better company management and is in best interests of both shareholders and policy holders," the commission said.
CPC hikes gas prices
State-run Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC, 中油) yesterday announced price hikes on home and industrial liquefied petroleum gas by NT$1 per kilogram and NT$1.1 per kilogram respectively, the company said in a statement. The new rates went into effect at midnight today, the statement said.
The adjustment was made due to the soaring costs, the company said. Bearing the pressure of rocketing oil prices, it is speculated that CPC may again raise wholesale gasoline prices in the near future.
More construction approved
A total of 22,491 licenses for construction projects were approved by the government in the first half of this year, a significant increase of 56.2 percent over the same period last year, according to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statis-tics (DGBAS).
The statistics released yesterday by the agency show that the approved construction projects occupied a total of 19.18 million square meters of floor space, a growth of 65.3 percent over the same period last year.
Residential buildings account for almost half, a considerable annual growth of 102.8 percent.
Thanks to preferential low interest rates offered by the government to encourage citizens to buy houses, banks offered loans worth NT$3.16 trillion (US$92 billion) in the first six months, an increase of 15.4 percent over the same period last year, the DGBAS said.
NT dollar falls
The New Taiwan dollar yesterday turned weak against its US counterpart, declining NT$0.042 to close at NT$34.140 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.