Sat, Jan 01, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs 

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Bank of Taiwan hikes rates

The Bank of Taiwan (台灣銀行) decided yesterday to raise its interest rates by between 0.05 percentage points and 0.075 percentage points, lifting its floating and fixed interest rates for one-year time deposits to 1.59 percent and 1.62 percent respectively, following the central bank's rate hikes yesterday.

The bank of Taiwan's decision will take effect next Monday.

Other state-run banks, such as First Commercial Bank (第銀行), Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行), the Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行), Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫) and Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行), have not decided whether to follow suit for the time being.

Consumers more dissatisfied

The non-profit Consumers' Foundation (消基會) reported yesterday that, as of Dec. 28, the organization received 53,858 complaints from the public during the year. Cases were filed through telephone calls, in written form or through consultations with its volunteer lawyers.

By including complaints made over the phone, the figure increased sixfold from the 8,149 cases recorded in 2003.

The top five areas with the most public dissatisfaction are: telecommunications, cosmetics, banking services, insurance and leisure activities, according to the foundation.

Business compensations or refunds it helped consumers to obtain last year surpassed NT$67 million (US$2 million).

To serve more people, starting today it offers free services when consumers file complaints with the foundation. It used to charge basic handling fees to support the organization's operation.

Tobacco and Liquor privatizes

The state-owned Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp (台灣菸酒公司) plans to release 51 percent of its shares to the public in three stages this year, in an effort to finalize privatization by the year-end as scheduled, the company's chairman Morgan Hwang (黃營杉) said yesterday.

The company will first release 15 percent of stakes in June, and another 31 percent and 5 percent in September and November respectively.

The firm's privatization scheme has been submitted to the Ministry of Finance and directed to the Executive Yuan for examination. The Cabinet is expected to approve the scheme by Jan. 13, Huang said.

The company is slated to transform into a publicly traded firm on Jan. 11 and to lodge its application for initial public offering in March, according to the plan.

Foreign firms pay better

More than 96 percent of foreign enterprises in Taiwan hand out year-end bonuses equivalent to 2.78 times the usual monthly salary on average, according to a survey released by the human resource agency 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行) yesterday.

Although these enterprises give an impression of rewarding employees with better pay and benefits packages, 93 percent of the 1,316 respondents polled said they plan to change jobs soon.

The survey showed that Japanese information-technology companies and mass media outlets topped the list by giving out four-month bonuses. American info-tech businesses will give less than two-month bonuses.

Chinatrust leaves Paraguay

Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託) of Taiwan has announced it is pulling out of Paraguay, and gave accountholders until Jan. 15 to withdraw their funds.

Hansjorg Brehm, the bank's director general, said that the bank had decided on an orderly pullout from the South American nation. Brehm did not give a reason for the end of operations here.

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