Sat, Sep 11, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

Kong meets London mayor

Visiting Lord Mayor of the City of London Robert Finch met with Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Kong Jaw-sheng yesterday to explore the possibilities for financial cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and the British capital.

During the meeting, Finch and Kong exchanged views on financial regulation frameworks and future cooperation between the FSC and the British Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA).

In addition, Finch also briefed Kong on the overall condition of financial services development, in which London has abundant experience, with a view to boosting bilateral exchanges in the field. He disclosed that a FSA delegation is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan in late November or December to discuss various cooperation projects with FSC officials.

At present, 13 Taiwan-based enterprises, including Acer Sertek Inc (宏科), Hon Hai Precision Industries Corp (鴻海精密), TECO Electric and Machinery Co (東元電機), Yangming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) and Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運) are listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Bank cleared to sell bonds

Jih Sun International Bank (日盛銀行), the banking arm of Jih Sun Financial Holdings Co (日盛金控), won approval to sell up to NT$5 billion (US$147 million) of bonds backed by car loans, the financial regulators said.

HVB Group is lead manager of the bond sale, the first local securitization product backed by car loans, the Financial Supervisory Commission said in a statement. Deutsche Bank AG is trustee of the issue, it said.

The bonds will be split into two lots. The first lot, which will be senior debt, is expected to be assigned credit ratings of AA- by Standard & Poor's, its fourth-highest investment grade, and Aa3 by Moody's, also its fourth-highest rating, the statement said. The second portion, subordinated debt, won't be rated.

Bank opens London branch

The Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行) opened a London branch on Thursday after maintaining a representative office in the British capital for 12 years.

Bank of Taiwan chairman Joseph Lu (呂桔誡) said the London branch is the bank's seventh overseas branch after New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Johannesburg.

Lu said the bank will promote trade and investment between Taiwan and the EU through the London branch.

In addition to the Bank of Taiwan, three other Taiwan-based commercial banks -- the First Commercial Bank (第一銀行), the Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行) and the Chang Hwa Bank (彰化銀行) -- have also set up London branches.

Insurers urged to stop policies

The FSC will ask insurers to stop selling policies aimed at helping investors evade inheritance taxes, said Susan Chang (張秀蓮), vice chairwoman of the commission.

The regulator is working with the finance ministry to prevent people of old age or those suffering serious illnesses from avoiding the taxes by taking out insurance policies, Chang said.

The government is taking measures to crack down on tax evasion as it faces a budget deficit of NT$304 billion (US$9 billion) this year and interest costs on national debt of more than NT$3 trillion, an all-time high.

The budget deficit is estimated at NT$292.9 billion for next year.

NT dollar down

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded lower against its US counterpart, declining NT$0.023 to close at NT$33.925 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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