Wed, Aug 16, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Taiwan Mobile Co offers rosy outlook

GOOD CALL The mobile operator said that increased subscribers and share sales would boost revenue, and also announced the appointment of a new chairman

By Lisa Wang and Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation's third-largest mobile operator, projected yesterday that third-quarter pre-tax profits would grow 17.4 percent at a quarterly rate to NT$5.67 billion (US$173.1 million) due to an increase in subscribers and gains from asset sales.

Net income would also increase to NT$1.03 per share from NT$0.93 in the second quarter, according to a statement filed to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

According to the statement, Taiwan Mobile plans to sell 100 million shares in rival Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信) in the form of American Depositary Receipts sometime this quarter.

The company generated NT$485 million by selling Chunhgwa Telecom shares on the local stock market earlier this month.

Revenues would also expand nearly 4 percent to NT$12.51 billion during this quarter from last quarter, according to the statement.

On the local bourse, Taiwan Mobile shares dropped 0.33 percent to NT$29.9 yesterday.

Separately, Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠), chairman of Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), resigned yesterday from his chairmanship at Taiwan Mobile to comply with a requirement set by the Financial Holding Company Act (金融控股公司法), Taiwan Mobile said in another statement.

Under this law, the chairpersons and presidents of financial holding firms cannot serve simultaneously as chairpersons or presidents of non-financial businesses. The regulation took effect on Jan. 1, but company chiefs are allowed to finish their current tenures.

In the statement, the telecommunications firm said it held a meeting yesterday and elected Richard Tsai (蔡明興), vice chairman of Fubon Financial and Daniel Tsai's younger brother, as its new chairman.

The board elected Daniel Tsai as its new vice chairman, according to the statement.

Daniel Tsai was not the only business heavyweight whose position as chairman of both a financial holding company and a non-financial enterprise contravened the new law.

While those affected have been given a grace period of up to three years to comply, critics have argued that the new requirement will only lead to a phenomenon of "figurehead" chairpersons being installed at the helm of family-run businesses.

Among those affected by the new legislation are Eugene Wu (吳東進), who heads both Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) and Great Taipei Gas Corp (大台北瓦斯); Jeffrey Koo (辜濂松), who chairs Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) and four non-financial businesses; and Lin Ming-cheng (林明成), who leads Hua Nan Financial Holding Co (華南金控) and four non-financial entities.

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