Thu, Aug 17, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Share prices up

Share prices closed 1.23 percent higher yesterday on the back of Wall Street's overnight rally, which was a response to weak US wholesale price data easing interest rate concerns, dealers said.

The TAIEX rose 81.50 points to 6,696.63, on turnover of NT$108.23 billion (US$3.31 billion).

Bellwether technology stocks were higher, thanks to foreign interest and positive sentiment on account of the sector's peak season.

Some heavyweight food stocks gained sharply on the back of their showing in the China market.

Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業) was limit-up NT$1.70 at NT$26 and Wei-Chuan Foods Co (味全食品) increased NT$0.60 to NT$12.20.

■ Jet maker faces public takeover

The Ministry of Economic Affairs may ask state-run aircraft builder Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (AIDC, 漢翔) to take over Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corp (SSAC), as the money-losing Taiwanese-US aircraft maker may not able to deliver the first plane on time, a Chinese-language newspaper said yesterday.

SSAC encountered financial problems in June and looked for more funds from domestic investors. The Ministry wanted Yao Hua Glass Co (耀華玻璃), supervisor of the venture, to raise US$17 million from local banks for SSAC before it obtains loans from foreign banks, the report said.

But the company's operating deficit, along with the delay in delivering aircraft, concerned AIDC, which considered SSAC a bottomless money pit, the report said. Without government fund-ing, AIDC has no intention to take over the company, according to the report.

SSAC was to deliver its first SJ30 light jet, a seven-seat aircraft that the company claims is the world's fastest long-haul light business jet, by the end of the month. The jet made its first trans-Atlantic flight last month.

■ Six major bidders for CNS

Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co are among six leading bidders for China Network Systems Co (CNS, 中嘉), in a sale valued at US$1.3 billion to US$1.5 billion, analysts familiar with the deal said in an interview.

The Macquarie Group, CVC Asia Pacific, MBK Partners and Texas Pacific Group were also selected in the first round of bids for CNS, said the two analysts, who asked not to be identified before an announcement.

The closely held CNS is 20 percent owned by News Corp's Star TV, and 80 percent owned by the Koo Group (和信集團). CNS said shareholders were considering a sale.

The bidders may be asked to submit new offers next month, the people said.

■ Japanese firm interested in BOT

A Japanese company has expressed keen interest in a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project for a community for senior citizens in Pinglin, Hualien County, the Construction and Planning Agency under the Ministry of the Interior said in an interview yesterday.

The officials said that if all goes well, the project will set a leading example for providing a living environment for the elderly. It will also introduce billions of dollars and create around 300 jobs, as well as promote the full use of local land and the development of related industries.

The ratio of Taiwanese elderly -- those aged over 65 -- had increased to 9.87 percent of the total population at the end of last month.

■ NT dollar stronger

The New Taiwan dollar turned stronger against its US counterpart yesterday, rising NT$0.007 to close at NT$32.749 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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