Tue, Jan 18, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs 

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Powerchip to sell new shares

Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), Taiwan's largest supplier of computer-memory chips, said its board approved a plan to sell new shares and raise as much as US$200 million for expansion.

The company would use the money to equip its newest plant, company spokesman Eric Tang (譚仲民) said in a statement. The company would sell no more than 300 million local shares to raise the money, the company said in a separate statement. The shares, based on today's closing price, would be worth NT$7.4 billion (US$232.8 million).

Powerchip has constructed a building for its second factory to make silicon wafers measuring 12 inches in diameter. The company would use the money to buy production equipment for the plant, Tang said.

Powerchip in 2004 became Taiwan's largest memory-chip maker, overtaking Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) and ProMOS Technologies Inc (茂德科技).

Nice Enterprise aims high

Collaborating with Ta Chong Bank (大眾銀行), Nice Enterprise (耐斯企業) is likely to become the biggest shareholder of Waterland Financial Holdings (國票金控), owning some 32 percent stake in the financial service provider, the Chinese-language Liberty Times said yesterday, quoting Nice Enterprises head Chen Zhe-fang (陳哲芳) as saying.

The newspaper said Nice Enterprises and its affiliate companies have acquired a 28 percent stake in Waterland Financial, while Ta Chong posesses a roughly four percent stake.

Waterland Financial was established in 2002, with paid-in capital of NT$21.2 billion. It is the smallest financial holding company among the existing 14.

The paper said the Ministry of Finance, which has a stake of around 11 percent in Waterland Financial, has no plan to support Walter Lin (林華德) to continue serving as chairman for another three years, after Lin's wife Sophie Yeh (葉素菲) was involved in the Procomp Informatics Ltd (博達科技) scandal last June.

Chunghwa rumors denied

The government denied a report that it will try to sell a stake in Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) after the Lunar New Year holiday.

"We don't have a timetable," said Vice Minister of Transportation and Communications Tsai Duei (蔡堆) in a telephone interview yesterday, in response to a Chinese-language newspaper report.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications, which owns 65 percent of Chunghwa, said on Dec. 29 it plans to sell a 16 percent stake worth as much as NT$98 billion (US$3.1 billion) this year.

Loans planned for centers

The government plans to offer loans of up to NT$20 billion (US$627 million) to companies to buy property for research and development centers, a Chinese-language newspaper said yesterday.

The Ministry of Economic Affair plans to offer the loans to both local and foreign companies at low interest rates, the paper said.

Foreign companies like Dell Inc have set up more than 20 research and development centers in Taiwan, while 64 local companies also have such centers. The government aims to have 40 foreign companies set up centers in the next five years, the paper said.

Merger tax breaks planned

The Financial Supervisory Commission plans to offer tax and other incentives to spur more mergers in the financial industry, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, citing an unidentified senior official at the regulator.

The industry watchdog plans to give financial companies tax breaks on rentals and land acquisition, and to lengthen the goodwill amortization period to 15 years from five, the paper said.

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