Minimum rates reviewed
The government may not apply the minimum tax rates on foreign investors' income from stock transactions, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported, without saying where it got the information. The Cabinet has asked the Ministry of Finance, the Financial Supervisory Commission and the central bank to study the issue amid concern that foreign investors may sell Taiwanese stocks because of the minimum tax rates, the paper said. Lawmakers on Dec. 9 approved a minimum income tax of 10 percent to 12 percent for companies and 20 percent for high-income individuals, with effect from Jan. 1 this year.
Mangoes shipped to Tokyo
The nation's first shipment of mangoes to Tokyo this year -- a total of 5.2 tonnes -- set sail yesterday. According to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), besides Tokyo, the council is taking steps to open markets in Fukuoka and Osaka for Taiwanese mangoes, which have proven popular among Tokyo consumers due to their delicate texture and sweetness, despite being expensive. In Japan, the average market price of Taiwanese mangoes is ?599 (US$5.36) per kilogram, far higher than that of Philippine mangoes at ?279, Mexican mangoes at ?374 or Thai mangoes at ?382, TAITRA said. Saucon, a major fruit importer in Fukuoka, has expressed interest in introducing frozen Taiwanese mangoes to supply local consumers with the tropical fruit throughout the year, the council said.
■ Foreign exchange
Rogue traders found guilty
Two currency dealers were found guilty yesterday for their part in a rogue trading scandal that cost Australia's biggest bank A$360 million (US$270 million). Vince Ficarra, 27, and David Bullen, 34, told the Victorian County Court in Melbourne they believed they were following instructions from the head of National Australia Bank's foreign exchange desk when they made fictitious trades to mask huge losses between September 2003 and January 2004. Ficarra was found guilty on 12 charges of gaining financial advantage for himself and others and one of gaining financial advantage by deception. Bullen was found guilty on 17 out of 19 counts of using his position dishonestly with the intention of gaining an advantage.Last June, their boss, Luke Duffy, was sentenced to 29 months in prison for his role in the scandal. A fourth trader, Gianni Gray, was sentenced to 16 months jail last month.
Dell founder raises stake
Dell Inc founder and Chairman Michael Dell spent US$70 million buying shares in the world's largest personal computer maker this week, a sign of confidence in the company as it attempts to revive its share price. Dell, 41, purchased 2.92 million shares on May 24 for US$23.99 each, Round Rock, Texas-based Dell said on Friday in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Dell is the largest shareholder in the computer maker, with a stake of more than 10 percent, according to Bloomberg data. The purchase is a show of support by the company's founder after Dell shares slumped 39 percent in the past year. Dell has twice missed its sales forecasts and fell short of its profit expectations last quarter.