■ China's move hurts banks: Shih
The newly appointed Financial Supervisory Commission chairman Shih Jun-ji (施俊吉) said yesterday that China's diplomatic compression of Taiwan has soured cross-strait relations, which in turn would deter relaxation of local banks' expansion in China.
There is no benign environment now to promote the signing of the memorandum of understanding on cross-strait financial supervision after Taiwan severed diplomatic ties with Chad, Shih told reporters yesterday.
This lifted the regulator's worries about further opening-ups that allow local banks to expand across Taiwan Strait, he said.
Commission Vice Chairwoman Susan Chang (張秀蓮) and commission member Lin Kuo-chuan (林國全) will lead a delegation to Tokyo early next month to attract foreign investors interested in Taiwan's capital market, Shih said.
The commission is likely to hold road shows in New York, London and the Middle East to introduce the nation's markets in November or December, he said.
Shih will formally take over the helm of the commission today.
■ Taiwan Mobile profits rises
Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation's second-biggest mobile phone operator, said it will book a NT$86.3 million (US$2.6 million) profit from selling 6.34 million shares in its bigger competitor Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信).
Taiwan Mobile sold the shares between Aug. 2 and Aug. 7 for a total of NT$382 million, or an average price of NT$60.25 per share, the company said in a filing yesterday to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
The sale is among the 200 million Chunghwa Telecom shares, or about 2 percent of Taiwan's largest phone company, that Taiwan Mobile is planning to sell this year, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News said on Jan. 23, citing Taiwan Mobile president Harvey Chang (張孝威).
Shares of Chunghwa Telecom, the nation's largest provider of phone services, fell almost 1 percent to NT$59.50. Taiwan Mobile's shares rose 2.8 percent to NT$31.
■ Cabinet to boost spending
The Cabinet has proposed a 6 percent increase in government spending for next year, generating an eighth straight year of fiscal deficit, much of which will go on defense, officials said yesterday.
The Cabinet is proposing government spending of NT$1.66 trillion and revenues of NT$1.5 trillion for next year, Li Guo-shin, deputy director of the budget and accounting office, said in a telephone interview.
The spending would result in a budget deficit of NT$160 billion, down from NT$198 billion for this year.
"Defense spending is a major reason for the 2007 budget increase," Li said.
The government would spend NT$37.2 billion on defense next year, Li said, adding that the figure would be more than 6 percent higher than defense spending for the current year.
Taiwan's defense spending would grow to 2.85 percent of GDP, up from 2.45 percent of GDP this year, a Ministry of National Defense source said.
■ Compal sales increase
Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦), the world's second-largest notebook-computer maker, said sales last month rose 42 percent from a year earlier.
Revenue climbed to NT$27.6 billion from NT$19.5 billion in July last year, Compal said in an e-mail statement yesterday. Sales gained from NT$22.6 billion in June.
■ NT dollar rises
The New Taiwan dollar gained ground against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, rising NT$0.066 to close at NT$32.803. A total of US$549 million changed hands during the day's trading.