■ Cabinet seeks lower land taxes \n \nThe Ministry of Finance said yesterday that the proposal to permanently lower land-value incremental tax rates was passed by the Cabinet on Thursday, and will be submitted to the legislature for review. The proposal, drafted by the ministry and was submitted in October to the Cabinet, stipulates to cut the land-value incremental tax rates from the current 40 percent, 50 percent and 60 percent to 20 percent, 30 percent and 40 percent, respectively. The tax break initiative was proposed by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who had previously vowed to permanently reduce the land value incremental tax by 50 percent to stir local property market. \n■ Bond sales to go toward deficit \n \nThe government will boost first-quarter bond sales by two-fifths from the previous three months to help plug the budget deficit. The government will sell NT$150 billion (US$4.7 billion) of bonds in the quarter ending March 31, a 43 percent increase from the fourth quarter, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Thursday. The ministry's Department of National Treasury plans to auction NT$40 billion of two-year bonds on Jan. 4; NT$40 billion of 5-year bonds on Jan. 19, NT$30 billion of 20-year bonds Feb. 22; and NT$40 billion of 10-year bonds March 11, according to the statement. The bond sale plan comes as the government faces a budget deficit forecast of NT$292.9 billion for next year, compared with an estimated shortfall of NT$304 billion this year. The first-quarter bond sale amount is unchanged from the same period this year. \n■ CAL denies purchase deal \n \nChina Airlines (華航), the nation's largest air carrier, denied a report saying it planned to order new planes from Airbus SAS. Taipei's Economic Daily News reported earlier today China Airlines may buy 10 A340-600s to replace older Boeing Co planes, in an order worth at least US$1.8 billion. The newspaper didn't say where it obtained the information. "We haven't made any decision on the amount and model for future purchases of planes," the Taipei-based airline said in a statement. "We don't have any preferred airplane maker." China Airlines ordered 14 Airbus A330s and 10 Boeing 747-400s in 2002 as it sought to rebuild its reputation, following its fifth crash in 11 years in May that year. The carrier is expanding its fleet as more residents travel and the nation's exports grow. \n■ Evergreen founder won't retire \n \nThe Evergreen Group (長榮集團), which owns Asia's largest container shipping company, denied group chairman and Founder Chang Yung-fa (張榮發) will retire on Jan. 1 next year. "The chairman will still be here, although he's fully delegating his authority," Nieh Kuo-wei (聶國維), spokesman for the group, said in a telephone interview yesterday. Nieh's remarks came after the United Daily News reported Thursday that Chang, 77, will retire from the group's main units Jan. 1 next year and will be succeeded by his third son, Chang Kuo-cheng (張國政). Chang Kuo-cheng is currently chairman of Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運), Asia's biggest container shipper. His younger brother Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒), currently vice president of EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空), Taiwan's second-biggest airline, will be promoted to president of the carrier on Jan. 1 next year, the company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday. \n■ NT dollar up against US dollar \n \nThe New Taiwan dollar yesterday gained NT$0.038 against its US counterpart to close at NT$32.19 in Taipei. The turnover was US$73.15 million.
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
MRT TRAVEL FALLS: In February, ridership on the Taipei MRT System fell 8.96 percent from an average of 2.01 million per day in January Scooter sales jumped 13 percent last month as more commuters turned to two-wheelers to avoid public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest statistics showed. Sales expanded to 74,493 units last month, compared with 65,913 units in February, statistics released on Wednesday by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed. In the first quarter, aggregate sales slid 0.51 percent year-over-year to 186,627 units, from 187,580 units, data showed. Kwang Yang, the nation’s biggest scooter manufacturer, continued to lead the market by selling 24,136 vehicles last month, growing 6.12 percent from 20,785 units in the previous month, while
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the nation’s leading PC vendor, yesterday launched its first dual-screen gaming laptop powered by Intel Corp’s latest central processing units (CPUs). The PC manufacturer’s announcement closely followed the US chipmaker’s unveiling of its 10th Generation Core H-series, the fastest commercial mobile processors with speeds of up to 5 gigahertz. Although Asustek’s Zephyrus Duo 15, the highlight of its Republic of Gamers line, is not the company’s first laptop with two screens, it is its first designed specifically for gaming. Nestled between the primary display panel and the keyboard, the secondary display, which Asustek calls the ScreenPad Plus, is angled
NO ILL EFFECT: Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the spread of COVID-19 was still relatively mild in Taiwan, housing brokers said Housing transactions in the six special municipalities totaled 19,824 units last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said, citing government data. Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet evident, they said. Taoyuan posted the largest improvement, with housing transactions soaring 36.6 percent year-on-year to 3,676 units, local government data showed. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) attributed the pickup to the completion of two presale residential projects in the municipality. Houses in Taoyuan have increasingly gained in popularity in the past few year years due to relatively affordable home prices and