Sat, Jan 21, 2006 - Page 10 News List

New ministers of economics and finance appointed

By Jackie Lin and Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Bank of Taiwan chairman Joseph Lyu (呂桔誠) has been appointed to take over from Minister of Finance Lin Chuan (林全), who will leave the post on Monday when the Cabinet steps down, while Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) chairman Morgan Hwang (黃營杉), will replace Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) as Minister of Economic Affairs, CNA reported late last night.

"Lyu said he'll do his best when designated premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) met him in the afternoon," the Bank of Taiwan chairman's secretary said yesterday.

Lin had been invited to serve as minister without portfolio, but he told reporters last night that he decided to decline the offer, citing miscommunications.

Banker

Lyu, 50, has served as vice chairman of the Commission of National Corporations (國營會), an agency that oversaw the nation's state-run enterprises under the Ministry of Economic Affairs from March 2002 to June 2003, before becoming president of the state-controlled Lank Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行) in 2003.

In June 2004, he was promoted to chair the nation's largest lender, the Bank of Taiwan (台灣銀行). Under Lyu's leadership, the bank announced that it would acquire smaller lender Central Trust of China (中央信託局) as a 100-percent owned business late last year, as part of the government's financial reforms aimed at consolidating the nation's crowded banking sector.

Lyu holds a master's degree in management from Northwestern University.

His ties with the Democratic Progressive Party originated from the dangwai (outside the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT]) period, but these days he chooses to keep his distance from politics, sources said.

Money-spinner

Hwang is expected to bring his experience of turning around money-losing state-run enterprises to the Ministry of Economic Affairs when he takes the helm.

As a former dean of National Taipei University's business school and an executive in several private companies for more than 20 years, Hwang has successfully reformed state-run Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp (台灣菸酒公司) and earned NT$5.2 billion (US$162 million) in after-tax earnings for the company from 2004 to last year, as well as pushing the Taiwan Beer brand to new heights.

The prominent achievement brought greater responsibility for Hwang, who was appointed by the government to take over the chairmanship of Taipower in July last year.

Hwang became the first chairman of Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor after the state-run monopoly was privatized in July 2002.

The 65-year-old Hwang has demonstrated a passion for improving the bureaucratic government sector.

With his proven business management skills and thorough understanding of the business environment, Hwang is expected to bring a new culture of efficiency to the ministry.

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