Wed, Dec 08, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs 

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Financial venture to be set up

China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控), the nation's fifth-biggest financial services company by market value, said today its fully owned asset management company plans to set up a NT$70 million (US$2.18 million) venture with Argyle Street Management Ltd.

China Development Asset Management Corp (中華開發資產管理) plans to set up the new asset management company before selling a 51 percent stake to Argyle Street, parent China Development Financial said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange. It didn't give other details.

Economic chief departs for US

Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) departed for the US yesterday to attend the annual board of directors' meeting of the US-Taiwan Business Council and to promote the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries.

Ho will deliver a speech on the outlook of US-Taiwan economic relations during the meeting set for Dec. 10 in Washington, officials said.

She will later attend an FTA presentation held by the council and the Institute for International Economics, and will also try to win the support of the US Congress and government for the signing of an FTA with Taiwan, they said.

Ho will then fly to Germany Dec. 11 to solicit investment in Taiwan by German manufacturers.

She might also hold an unofficial ministerial meeting with her German counterpart and is expected to visit the headquarters of major German manufacturers, including Merck, AFC, Trumph, Bosch and Siemens.

Nation number four in insurance

The nation's insurance penetration rate was the fourth-highest in the world last year, with premium income from insurance accounting for 11.3 percent of GDP, according to a report released yesterday by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.

South Africa claimed the top position at 15.9 percent, Britain came in second at 13.4 percent, followed by Switzerland at 12.7 percent, the report said.

By value, the US topped the list, posting US$1.55 trillion in premium income last year, followed by Japan, which reported US$478.9 billion and Britain, which reported US$246.7 billion.

Meanwhile, Switzerland had the highest insurance density with its per capita premiums amounting to US$5,660 last year.

The four Asian dragons ranked between 19th and 23rd place, with Hong Kong posting US$1,833 in per capita premiums, Singapore posting US$1,621, Taiwan posting US$1,433 and South Korea posting US$1,243.

UMC revenue drops

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world's second-largest contract chipmaker, reported its revenue last month dropped to NT$9.28 billion (US$289.45 million) from the NT$10.06 billion posted in October.

However, last month's figure represents a rise of 21 percent compared to the NT$7.70 billion (US$240.17 million) reported for November last year.

UMC said its revenue in the first 11 months of the year rose 42 percent to NT$108.43 billion (US$3.38 billion) from NT$76.51 billion (US$2.38 billion) for the same period last year.

NT dollar weakens

Like other Asian currencies, the New Taiwan dollar yesterday pared losses on speculation China's government will adjust its yuan peg to allow for an appreciation, luring investors to the region's assets.

The local currency weakened NT$0.03, or 0.1 percent, to close at NT$32.10 against its US counterpart on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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