Thu, Jan 20, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Taiwan plans to attract more overseas investors

BLOOMBERG

Taiwan's financial regulator plans to attract more overseas companies to sell shares on the nation's stock exchange by improving listing guidelines in the next six months, part of a plan to double capital raised by foreign investors.

"We will become a global market," Kong Jaw-sheng (龔照勝), chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission, told reporters at a news briefing in Taipei.

Taiwan plans to double annual fund-raising by foreign companies to NT$35 billion (US$1.1 billion) in 2008 from NT$17.5 billion at the end of 2003, Wu Tang-chieh (吳當傑), head of the commission's Securities and Futures Bureau, said on Sept. 20. Owning the world's third-largest foreign exchange reserves, at US$242 billion as of December, Taiwan can finance corporate activities by the world's biggest companies, Kong said yesterday.

The commission plans to draft new listing guidelines in the next six months, Kong said. Enforcement of the rules may start next year.

The plan will also include establishing foreign-currency products and an offshore market, as well as a proposal to invite Taiwanese companies investing in China to return to Taiwan to sell shares, Kong said.

On Dec. 31, the commission said it will allow overseas investors to conduct futures trading and short-selling this year as part of efforts to open its markets further and attract international money.

The commission will allow shares in companies that sell stock for the first time to trade without restriction for five days, beginning March 1, Kong said. The limit on how much a stock's price may move in a day may be raised to about 10 percent from 7 percent, and then possibly scrapped within 18 months, Kong said on Sept. 6.

"The first case of free floating could emerge in July," Kong said today.

Ending the ban on short-selling may lead to more money coming into the nation because overseas investors would be better able to manage risk by protecting themselves from any stock market declines.

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