Fuhwa Bank plans purchases
Fuhwa Bank (復華銀行), an affiliate of the Fuhwa Financial Holding Co (復華金控), said yesterday that it may buy one to two more credit cooperatives each year in the next few years in a bid to expand its number of local branches from the current 58 to its goal of 100 offices.
The bank last Wednesday paid NT$289 million (US$9 million) to buy Tainan Seventh Credit Cooperative (台南七信), which gave it eight more branches.
The bank said that these acquisitions offer a cheap and efficient way of expanding its market presence, since the government has put a curb on opening new bank branches.
Hsinchu Science Park to expand
The Hsinchu Science Park will expand by 52 hectares to include three chipmaking and optoelectronics plants, with investment totaling NT$431 billion (US$13 billion), a Chinese-language newspaper reported, citing unidentified government officials.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manu-facturing Co (台積電), the world's largest supplier of made-to-order chips, Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶), the nation's largest memory-chip maker, and Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp (世界先進) will between them invest a total of NT$366 billion and take up 22.5 hectares of the new park, the newspaper said.
The three chipmakers will create combined annual production valued at NT$140 billion in the new zone in 2008, the paper said.
Fees on donations waived
The Bankers' Association (銀行公會) yesterday reached a consensus with the nation's bank members, waiving the 3 percent transaction fees charged on tsunami-relief donations made via credit cards.
The decision will be retroactive to donations made after Dec. 26 and transaction fees will be refunded.
Fertilizer shares selling well
On the second day of its five-day auction, 200 million shares in Taiwan Fertilizer Co (台肥) were sold yesterday.
The share sale liquidated a total of NT$6.39 billion (US$200 million) into the government's coffers with a closing price of NT$32 -- slightly higher than it floor price of NT$31.3 per share, according to the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp (TSEC).
The stock regulator said that foreign investors appeared to be the biggest buyers since the state-owned enterprise is rich in its land assets.
Topping other competitors, Credit Suisse First Boston bought 61.7 million shares, followed by Deutsche Bank's 22.9 million shares. In its first trading day, a total of 65.7 million of Taiwan Fertilizer's shares were sold on Monday with an averaged price of NT$31.84 per share.
Lin tipped for vice premiership
Minister of Finance Lin Chuan (林全) was tapped by the local Chinese-language media to be the possible candidate for vice premiership after the Cabinet is reshuffled next month.
But Lin told the legislature yesterday that he "has never been informed of such appointment," saying the media report is groundless.
The media have speculated that President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) administration is having difficulty in finding candidates with financial expertise for the vice premiership to assist the yet-to-be-appointed premier, who may not have a financial and economic background.
NT dollar gains ground
The New Taiwan dollar yesterday strengthened against the greenback and rose NT$0.141, closing at NT$32.13 on the Taipei Foreign Exchange. Turnover was US$623 million. The greenback opened at NT$32.263 and fluctuated between NT$32.105 and NT$32.285.