Wed, Dec 01, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs 

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Banking group issues warning

Beginning today, banks cannot include phone numbers short messages sent to credit-card and cash-card holders, according to the Bankers' Association.

Card-holders will be advised to reply to bank messages by calling the numbers printed on the back of their bank cards in order to prevent con artists from taking advantage of them.

The association said people should be alert because from now on short messages containing phone numbers that purportedly come from their banks should be considered suspicious and possibly fraudulent.

Telecom operators seek delay

Telecom operators led by Chung-hwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday called on the Directorate General of Telecommunications to push back the implementation date for a number-portability mechanism by one year, citing slow progress in building an access center for mobile-number exchange.

A committee of representatives from 12 mobile and fixed-line operators decided to file a request for a postponement.

The directorate has requested telecom carriers start offering a service next year by which subscribers could switch mobile-phone operators without changing their phone numbers.

NPL ratio declines

The nation's bad-loan ratio, including loans under surveillance, fell slightly to 4.51 percent in October from 4.52 percent in September, according to statistics released by Financial Supervisory Commission yesterday.

As of the end of October, banks had non-performing loans (NPL) of around NT$684.9 billion, down from September's NT$688.9 billion.

The commission's statement said a total of 37 lenders have an NPL below 5 percent, representing 76 percent of the 49 domestic banks.

The NPL figure peaked in the first quarter of 2002 when bad loans, including loans under surveillance, totaled NT$1.662 trillion with an NPL ratio at 11.74 percent, the statement said.

Dapeng Bay deal inked

Tourism authorities concluded a NT$10.34 billion (US$321.57 million) deal with an international investment company yesterday to develop the Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area.

The contract was signed by Hsieh Wei-chun (謝謂君), chief of the Tourist Bureau's Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area Administration, and Dapeng Bay International Investment chairman Pan Chung-kuang (潘仲光).

The project, covering a 257-hectare region made up of wetlands, lagoon and sea water, is the nation's largest BOT investment in terms of the area and investment, while it also contains the most multi-dimensional development packages, according to the Tourism Bureau.

Officials said the project will be carried out in two stages. The first stage will focus on the construction of a marina and port zone facilities -- including a fisherman's wharf and a seaside restaurant; an artificial peninsula that will be home to a museum of history and literature, a leisure center, a water world and an international convention center with a hotel; a golf resort and a parking lot.

Construction on the first-stage is scheduled to finish by the end of 2012 and the second stage eight years later, according to the tourism officials.

NT dollar slides

The New Taiwan dollar traded lower against its US counterpart yesterday on concerns that central bank may intervene to sell the local unit after recent surge. The currency fell NT$0.005 to close at NT$32.205 on the Taipei foreign exchange market, with a turnover of US$1.004 billion.

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