Tue, Jan 25, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs 

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Eight airlines apply for flights

Eight air carriers from the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have applied to operate direct cross-strait charter flights during the Lunar New Year holiday, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said yesterday.

The air carriers are China-based Shanghai Airlines (上海航空), Xiamen Airlines (廈門航空), China Southern Airlines (南方航空), China Eastern Airlines (中國東方航空), as well as Taiwan-based EVA Airlines (長榮), China Airlines (華航), UNI Air (立榮) and Mandarin Airlines (華信).

A charter flight from China Southern Airlines will depart from Guangzhou at 8am on Jan. 29 and arrive at CKS International Airport at 9:30am, becoming the first charter plane from China to arrive at the airport.

The first chartered flight from Taiwan will be flown by EVA Airlines, which is scheduled to depart at 8:30am from Taipei to Beijing on Jan. 29.

The charter flights will run from Jan. 29 through Feb. 20.

Holiday taxi fares to be raised

Taxi fees will be hiked by up to 30 percent in northern Taiwan during Lunar New Year holidays, the ROC Taxi Association (計程車公會) announced yesterday. Between Feb. 6 and Feb. 13, fares during daytime will rise by 20 percent, the same rate charged at night, in Keelung City, Taipei City and Taipei County. An additional NT$20 will be charged for each journey at nighttime.

The fare hike is set at 30 percent in Hsinchu City. In Taoyuan County, taxi drivers are allowed to negotiate fee increases with passengers but the range must be kept under 30 percent of the original fees, the association said.

Firms eye Chang Hwa shares

ING Groep NV and two other overseas companies are interested in buying shares that Taiwan's Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行) plans to sell to investors abroad, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.

The US private equity firm Carlyle Group is also among the companies that may buy a Chang Hwa stake, the paper said. Chang Hwa will hold an auction late next month to sell the shares, the Times said, without identifying other possible overseas buyer.

The 23 percent stake in Chang Hwa Bank held by the Taiwan government and state-controlled banks is expected to fall to 18 percent after the sale, the paper said.

The Ministry of Finance may sell its stake in Chang Hwa, the nation's sixth-largest bank by assets, as part of a package to lure overseas investors, the same paper said on Dec. 11, citing Minister of Finance Lin Chuan (林全).

Investors sell UMC ADRs

United Microelectronics Corp (聯電), the world's second-largest supplier of made-to-order chips, said shareholders in the US sold a stake in the company worth US$84.3 million.

A total of 126.5 million shares packaged as American depositary receipts (ADRs) were sold between Dec. 9 and Jan. 20 for an average price of US$3.33 per ADR, the company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The ADRs closed trading at US$3.28 on Friday.

One ADR of the company is equivalent to five of the common shares traded in Taiwan. United Microelectronics said 13 unidentified shareholders participated in the sale.

The Securities and Futures Bureau said on Nov. 2 it approved the sale of as many as 110 million United Microelectronics shares.

New Taiwan dollar rises

The New Taiwan dollar advanced against the US greenback on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, gaining NT$0.083 to close at NT$31.830.

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