Tue, Nov 23, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs 


GDP forecasts revised

JP Morgan Chase Bank yesterday revised up their forecasts for the nation's real GDP growth for this year and next year, to 5.9 percent and 4.3 percent from previous forecasts of 5.7 percent and 4 percent, respectively, considering stronger-than-expected third-quarter GDP growth of 5.3 percent.

"We believe fundamentals remain supportive of sustained domestic demand expansion going into 2005," Grace Ng (吳向紅), an economist of JP Morgan's Asia Economic Research, said in a report issued yesterday.

Ng said Taiwan's external trend trade would likely shift to a lower gear, in view of the expected moderation in global demand.

External sector that saw 7.9 percent growth quarter-on-quarter and impressive rebounds in the fixed-investment front that enjoyed 9.2 percent growth from the previous quarter were major contributions bolstering third-quarter economic growth, JP Morgan said.

Private consumption resumed positively over the same period, rising 3.4 percent from the previous quarter, although the pace of expansion was less than expected, pos-sibly affected by typhoons during the quarter, the US bank said.

Big US firms eye Taiwan

General Electric Co and American International Group Inc may set up a financing business in Taiwan when regulations are in place next year, a Chinese-language business daily said, citing a Ministry of Economic Affairs official.

The government has completed a draft of guidelines for financing companies and may take applications next year, the paper said, citing Du Zi-juen (杜紫軍), chief at the ministry's business bureau.

General Electric is the world's biggest company by market value, and American International is the world's biggest insurer.

Kong attends WTO meeting

Financial Supervisory Commis-sion Chairman Kong Jaw-sheng (龔照勝) is currently attending a WTO Committee on Trade in Financial Services meeting.

Kong is expected to deliver a speech on financial services at the meeting. He left for Switzerland on Nov. 19, keeping a low profile to avoid a protest by China, and will report on the results of the meeting after his return on Sunday.

Since assuming his post on July 1, Kong attended a Financial Services Roundtable in Washington in late September and an international seminar on the financial services supervisory mechanism, accounting, auditing and trading systems in New York late last month.

Asian bond market mooted

Jeffrey Koo (辜濂松), chairman of the Chinatrust Group (中信集團), suggested on Saturday that an Asian bond market should be established. He was speaking at a meeting of business leaders in Santiago, Chile.

Koo told the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council (ABAC), which was held between Friday and Saturday, that a joint bond market in Asia would better prepare the countries in the region to prevent or respond to a financial crisis such as the one in 1997.

Koo made his suggestion while delivering a speech on good governance and its challenges.

NT dollar strongest since 2001

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded NT$0.075 higher against its US counterpart, closing at NT$32.479 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

The NT dollar, like other Asian currencies, rose as ministers from the Group of 20 biggest economies said governments in the region should increase exchange-rate flexibility.

The local currency rose as much as 0.6 percent to the highest since March 9, 2001 in the morning session.

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