Thu, Aug 10, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Nokia wins Chunghwa order

Nokia Oyj, the world's largest maker of mobile phones, won an order to expand the wireless network of Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation's biggest phone company.

Nokia will expand Chunghwa's network that uses the so-called wideband code-division multiple access technology, or WCDMA, and also provide related services, the Espoo, Finland-based company said in an e-mailed release on Tuesday. Deliveries will start immediately. Nokia didn't give a value for the contract.

■ Taiwan Mobile profits from sale

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation's second-biggest mobile phone operator, said it would book a NT$124 million (US$3.8 million) profit from selling 9.26 million shares in its bigger competitor Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信).

Taiwan Mobile sold the shares on Tuesday and yesterday for a total of NT$556 million, or an average price of NT$60.07 a share, the company said in a filing yesterday to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Taiwan Mobile is planning to sell 200 million Chunghwa Telecom shares, or about 2 percent of the nation's largest phone company, this year, the Economic Daily News said on Jan. 23, citing Taiwan Mobile president Harvey Chang (張孝威).

Shares of Chunghwa Telecom rose 1.2 percent yesterday to NT$60.90. Taiwan Mobile's shares fell 0.5 percent to NT$31.35.

■ Tax revenues fell last month

The treasury took in NT$93.5 billion (US$2.9 billion) worth of taxes last month, a 1.7 percent decrease from a year ago, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.

The biggest drop was recorded in income tax revenues, which slid NT$3.4 billion, or 59.9 percent, from last year as a growing number of people filed their annual tax reports on the Internet and became the first group to receive tax rebates last month, said Lee Li-shu (李麗雪), director of the statistics department.

Income from the securities transaction tax dropped by 12.2 percent to NT$5.8 billion last month due to weak stock transactions. The average daily stock turnover last month stood at NT$71.3 billion, the lowest since September last year when turnover averaged NT$66.6 billion per day.

For the first seven months of the year, tax revenues reached NT$992.5 billion, up 2.1 percent from the same period last year, the ministry said. The figure accounts for 67.5 percent of the target set for the whole year, Lee said.

■ FPC delays cracker startup

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) said it had postponed the startup of Asia's largest chemical plant because of labor and raw material shortages.

Formosa has delayed the opening of its the naphtha-processing unit, or cracker, at least six months to April, company spokesman Lin Keh-yen (林克彥) said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. The plant will produce 1.08 million tonnes a year of ethylene, used to make plastics and textiles, increasing Asian output by 3.9 percent.

Record oil prices have caused project delays and cost overruns across the energy industry as investment in fields, refineries and chemical plants stretches the supply of engineers, welders and steel pipes.

Formosa's cracker project, built on reclaimed land near Mailiao (麥寮) in Yunlin County, is part of a US$4.3 billion expansion, which includes increasing the capacity the firm's oil refinery by 20 percent to 540,000 barrel a day.

■ NT dollar rises

The New Taiwan dollar gained ground versus the US greenback yesterday, rising NT$0.039, or 0.1 percent, to close at NT$32.777 in the local foreign exchange market.

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