■ Dbtel announces changes
Mobile phone vendor Dbtel Inc (大霸電子) said yesterday that it would reduce its shares to improve its financial status. After the revision, the company's capital would be around NT$1.25 billion (US$39.3 million), down from the current NT$8.32 billion, the company said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The company had accumulated NT$430 billion in losses over the past years as of the first quarter. After the reduction, the company's net value would be lifted to NT$12.79 per share from the current NT$1.92. The proposal would be put to the company's annual shareholder meeting on June 30.
■ Airport fees to be cut
The government will lower airport fees for domestic routes, saving NT$1.16 billion (US$36 million) a year for carriers such as Far Eastern Air Transport Corp (遠東航空) and helping them to compete amid rising fuel costs. Airlines will be charged 50 percent less for landing from July 1, while leases for land and buildings will be cut by 10 percent, the Ministry of Transportation and Communication said on its Web site on Wednesday, without giving details on the fees. Four airlines operating domestic routes including Far Eastern will face competition from the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (台灣高鐵), which is scheduled to start services in October. "The ministry has asked the Civil Aeronautics Administration to actively promote measures that'll help the industry," including encouraging mergers, the ministry said, without disclosing details. The airport fee reduction won't apply for international routes, the ministry said.
■ Pingtung EPZA wants investors
The Pingtung branch of the Export Processing Zone Administration (EPZA) said yesterday that all domestic and overseas investors are welcome to set up shop in the new zone. The Pingtung branch, the first duty-free industrial zone in the nation's southernmost county, is scheduled for completion by the end of next year, the EPZA said, noting that all major roads, communication networks, and water and sewage systems have already been completed. According to EPZA statistics, the Pingtung branch, located near the Kaoping Bridge on the outskirts of Pingtung City, has so far approved the applications of 12 companies to set up shop. The total investment amounts to NT$3.689 billion, and roughly 1,500 job opportunities will be created. The land in the Pingtung zone is not for sale -- the monthly land rental is only NT$1.33 per square meter. In addition, companies inside the zone will enjoy preferential treatment on tariffs, commodity taxes, sales taxes, contract taxes, business income taxes and housing taxes, the EPZA said.
■ FSC members to be finalized
Financial Supervisory Commission Acting Chairman Lu Daung-yen (呂東英) said yesterday that a decision on whether the number of replacements for commission members will be three or four would be made by the end of next month. Three out of the commission's nine members will see their two-year tenures expire next month. They are Amy Chin (金文悅), Ling Kuen-bao (凌氤寶) and Huang Hsien-hua (黃顯華). As such, Lu's statements could indicate that the commission's suspended chairman, Kong Jaw-sheng (龔照勝), would be removed from his position by that time. Meanwhile, the post of director-general of the Examination Bureau, vacant since July last year, may remain empty in the near future, as Lu said a suitable candidate would not be selected before an internal consensus was reached.