■ Firm announces joint venture
Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運), a leading Taiwan shipper, said yesterday it has established a logistics joint venture with China Changjiang National Shipping (Group) Corp (中國長江航運集團). Through its wholly-owned subsidiary Yes Logistics Corp (好好物流), Yang Ming Marine holds a 49 percent stake in the joint venture capitalized at 100 million yuan (US$12.35 million), while its Chinese partner takes the remaining 51 percent, Yes Logistics president Kenny Su (蘇國殷) said. Warehouses and other facilities are under construction in the central Chinese city of Chongqing, Su said, adding the new company is scheduled to begin operations by the end of this year. The mainland company, headquartered in Wuhan in central China, mainly operates energy and commodity container and bulk shipping services along the Yangtze River.
■ Textile firm seeks loans
Far Eastern Textile Ltd (遠東紡織), Taiwan's largest fabrics company, is seeking US$128.5 million of loans to expand in China, the nation's biggest export market, said a banker involved in the transaction. Far Eastern is borrowing US$58.5 million in dollars and yuan to boost yarn production in Wuxi, eastern China. It's seeking US$70 million to build a new factory in Suzhou, northwest of Shanghai, to make materials used in safety belts, the banker said. DBS Group Holdings Ltd and HSBC Holdings Plc are arranging the deal. Far Eastern will pay interest of 0.85 percentage point over the London interbank offered rate for the US$30 million portion of the Wuxi loan. The Suzhou loan has an interest margin of 0.8 percentage point over Libor. The five-year loans can be extended to seven years, said the banker, who declined to be named.
■ Flights almost fully booked up
Taiwan's largest air carrier China Airlines (華航) said yesterday that its cross-strait charter passenger flights for the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays have been almost fully booked. "More than 90 percent of the capacity has been reserved; they have almost been fully booked," a company official said. He said the airlines' subsidiary Mandarin Airlines (華信航空) will also provide 12 round-trip flights serving Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen. China Airlines will begin the service with a flight from Taipei to Shanghai on Jan. 20, he said. Taipei and Beijing announced on November 18 last year that they had reached agreement on passenger charter flights for the period from January 20 to February 13, 2006 to bring Taiwanese home for the Lunar New Year holidays. The charter flights will be non-stop but will have to fly via Hong Kong airspace. Taiwanese and Chinese carriers will be allowed to operate a combined 72 flights for the holiday services this year, compared with 48 flights permitted in 2005.
■ Record bookings made
The 10th Taipei International Plastic and Rubber Industry Show, scheduled for March 23-27, has attracted a record high number of exhibitors, organizers of the show said on Sunday. The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (外貿協會), which holds the exhibition together with the Taiwan Association of Machine Industry, indicated that 369 exhibitors will take part.
■ NT dollar rises
The New Taiwan dollar gained against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, rising NT$0.068 to close at NT$31.927. A total of US$677 million changed hands during the day's trading.