■ Chunghwa sale plan approved
The board of Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation's biggest provider of telephone services, approved a plan to sell shares overseas. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications plans to sell as many as 1.64 billion shares in Chunghwa Telecom to investors abroad, the company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday. As Chunghwa Telecom is listed on the Taiwan stock market and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), it must file with the Taiwan Securities & Futures Commission and the US Securities and Exchange Commission before it can launch its second ADR offering, according to Chunghwa Telecom. The approval came after the Legislative Yuan passed a resolution on May 27 demanding the government halt its plan to sell shares in the telecom company. Chunghwa Telecom on May 23 said it chose Goldman Sachs Group Inc, UBS AG and Morgan Stanley to arrange the sale.
■ Steady steel prices expected
China Steel Corp (中鋼) said it expects product prices to be steady in the fourth quarter, supported by demand from shipbuilders, home appliance producers and automakers. "The fourth quarter should be about the same as the third quarter," said Chen Yuan-cheng (陳源成), China Steel executive vice president. "Prices of steel plates for ships are still rising, and those for appliances and cars are okay." Chen was responding to a newspaper report today that said steel prices may rise in the fourth quarter, citing China Steel chairman Lin Wen-yuan (林文淵). The report came as prices of some steel products in China, the world's largest producer of the metal, have declined by more than a third this year. China Steel sells about 10 percent of its products to China.
■ Financial firm eyes acquisition
China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發) plans to acquire Taiwan International Securities Corp (金鼎證券), a Chinese-language newspaper reported, without saying where it obtained the information. China Development and related funds have acquired more than 10 percent of Taiwan International, and may attempt a hostile acquisition next year, the Taipei-based paper said. In April, China Development's plan to merge its Grand Cathay Securities Corp (大華證券) unit with smaller brokerages President Securities Corp (統一證券) and KGI Securities Co (中信證券) failed after government-appointed directors rejected the plan. China Development is Taiwan's fifth-largest financial services company.
■ Evergreen to build Thai complex
The Evergreen Group (長榮) and Thai partners including Krisda Mahanakorn Pcl plan to build a 100 billion baht (US$2.4 billion) commercial complex and hotel near Bangkok's new international airport, the Bangkok Post reported. The development will include a 5,000-room hotel, convention center, retail mall and housing, the paper said, citing Jenny Cheng, president of Evergreen Co. It will be about 10km from Bangkok's yet-to-be-completed US$3 billion Suvarnabhumi International Airport, which is scheduled to start operating in September. Evergreen will have about 60 percent of the venture, with Thai partners owning the remainder, the paper said.
■ NT dollar edges higher
The New Taiwan dollar traded higher against its US counterpart, rising NT$0.04 to close at the day's low of NT$31.385 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$550 million, down from US$750 million the previous day.