■ Low-cost loans offered
The Council for Economic Planning and Development said it plans to offer NT$200 billion (US$6.3 billion) in low-cost loans to boost redevelopment in the capital Taipei and other cities. The loans, which would help generate a combined production value of NT$567.2 billion in the next three years, would fund some 50 redevelopment projects, mostly in districts close to rail stations and mass rapid transit centers, the council said in a statement issued late Monday. Districts selected for development have a population of more than 200,000, with more than 50 percent of properties owned by the government, the council said. Houses more than 40 years' old totaled 1.75 million, or about one-fourth of the nation's total, prompting a need for redevelopment to improve living quality, the council said.
■ Neihu business booms
Business transactions in Taipei's Neihu and Nankang science parks totaled NT$1.69 trillion (US$52.9 billion) last year, with the number of employees reaching 85,400 by the end of May, according to statistics from the Taipei City Government. An official from the city's Bureau of Commerce and Economy said that the employees hired in these two science parks were engaged in manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing, as well as technology services. In the Neihu science park alone, business transactions reached NT$1.51 trillion last year, an increase of 29 percent over the previous year, with the number of employees totalling 73,300. The transactions in the Nankang Software Park totaled NT$170 billion last year, with the number of employees reaching 12,000.
■ Bank opens new China branches
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp yesterday announced that it has opened new branches in Chongqing and Chengdu in China, expanding its network to 12 branches in China, the UK-based lender said in a statement. "The opening of the Chongqing and Chengdu branches has enabled HSBC to expand into Western China for the first time," Richard Yorke, chief executive office of the lender's China operation, said in the statement.
■ Ex-Fubon official joins Citigroup
James Wu (吳均龐), former president of Fubon Commercial Bank (富邦銀行), has joined the Citigroup Taiwan as a vice chairman for corporate and investment banking, the US-based lender said in a statement yesterday. The new position takes effective immediately, the statement said. Wu, who has more than 20 years experience in the nation's banking industry, will be in charge of merger and acquisition planning, customer relationship development as well as product strategies and cross-marketing, the statement added.
■ Six firms eye bank stake
E.Sun Financial Holding Co (玉山金控) and five other financial firms are interested in bidding for the government's stake in Taiwan Business Bank (台灣企銀), according to a report in a local paper yesterday. Firms interested in bidding on medium-sized Taiwan Business Bank begin the process yesterday, according to the newspaper's report, which did not identify the other prospective bidders.
■ NT dollar declines
The New Taiwan dollar continued losing ground against its US counterpart, declining NT$0.02 to close at NT$31.992 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$1.03 billion, up from US$732 million the previous day.