Thu, Jul 20, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ TAIEX marginally down

Share prices closed 0.13 percent lower yesterday as profit-taking reversed early gains following Wall Street's moderate advance overnight and a further pull-back in oil prices, dealers said.

They said the market settled back in thin trade as investors opted not to push Tuesday's technical rebound any further given prevailing tensions in the Middle East and an upturn in oil prices during Asian business hours.

The market also wanted to wait for US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's congressional testimony later in the day for a further lead on the outlook for inflation and interest rates.

The TAIEX slipped 8.07 points to the day's low of 6,277.24, on turnover of NT$64.19 billion (US$1.95 billion). Declines led risers 480 to 445, with 155 stocks unchanged.

■ HSBC personnel change

HSBC Taiwan introduced Sanjiv Sud yesterday, who will take over Martin Spurling's position as the new head of personal financial services next Friday.

Sud, 43, previously served as HSBC's business manager for credit cards in Malaysia for three years. He received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Delhi and has worked with HSBC for 14 years.

Spurling has been in charge of the multinational's consumer banking business in Taiwan since January 2004. The 40-year-old executive been promoted as chief executive officer of HSBC Bank International and will work in its offshore private bank in Jersey in the Channel Islands.

■ Taiwan Coop gets BBB rating

Fitch Ratings yesterday affirmed Taiwan Cooperative Bank's (合作金庫銀行) credit rating after its merger with the Farmers Bank of China (農民銀行) on May 1. The bank's long-term issuer default rating is "BBB," short-term "F3," national long-term "A+(twn)," national short-term "F1(twn)," individual "D/E" and support "2," according to a press release.

At the same time, the agency withdrew its ratings on Farmers Bank.

The enlarged Taiwan Cooperative is now the second-largest bank in Taiwan with 252 domestic branches and assets of NT$2.6 trillion (US$79 billion) as of March, accounting for 8.6 percent of system-wide assets.

■ EU withdraws duty threat

The EU withdrew a threat to impose a herbicide duty on Taiwan's Sinon Corp (興農) meant to protect producers in the bloc from cheaper imports.

The EU in September 2004 exempted Sinon from a 29.9 percent tariff on glyphosate, used to remove weeds before crop planting, imported from Taiwan, China and Malaysia. Last August, the bloc opened a probe into whether Sinon had a previously undisclosed link to a Taiwanese exporter subject to the five-year levy and said the exemption might be revoked.

"There is no evidence to show that the conditions for exemption were not met," the European Commission, the 25-nation EU's trade authority in Brussels, said yesterday in its official journal. "Moreover, it is found that the conditions for exemption continue to be met."

The EU introduced a five-year anti-dumping duty of 24 percent on glyphosate from China in 1998 and doubled the levy in 2000. The bloc extended the duty to Taiwan and Malaysia in 2002 before imposing the new tariff of 29.9 percent against all three countries in September 2004.

■ NT dollar remains weak

The New Taiwan dollar remained weak against its US counterpart yesterday, dropping NT$0.031 to close at NT$32.897 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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