Sat, Aug 26, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

Chang Hwa posts profit

The Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行), Taiwan's seventh-largest bank by assets, returned to profit in the second quarter after writing off bad loans last year.

The bank had a profit of NT$2.25 billion (US$68 million) compared with a net loss of NT$9.14 billion a year earlier. The figures were derived by subtracting first-quarter from first-half earnings that were provided by the Taichung-based bank.

In the first half, Chang Hwa posted net income of NT$5.45 billion, compared with a net loss of NT$8.75 billion last year when it had NT$18.5 billion in bad loans.


UMC approves stock conversion

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world's second-largest supplier of made-to-order chips, said its board approved a proposal allowing some shareholders to convert their common stock to American depositary receipts (ADRs).

The board released its decision in a statement from the company to the Taiwan Stock Exchange late yesterday. The statement didn't give more details on the GDR proposal for shareholders.

The company, based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, in November announced a plan to allow some shareholders to convert common stock to ADRs, saying the total amount of shares convertible to ADRs is capped at 1 percent of outstanding shares. It didn't give more details.

UMC postponed the plan because shareholders were unwilling to sell at the time, the Economic Daily News reported today, without citing anyone.

One UMC ADR is equivalent to five common shares traded in Taiwan. The company has 19.07 billion outstanding shares, according to Bloomberg data.


Money supply growth slows

Taiwan's money supply growth slowed in July as residents invested more funds overseas and growth of bank lending cooled.

M2, the broadest measure of money supply, rose 5.72 percent last month from a year ago after gaining 6.45 percent in June, the Central Bank of China said.

M1A, which tracks net currency in circulation in addition to checking accounts and passbook deposits, gained 4.58 percent last month after climbing 6.8 percent in June, the central bank said.

M1B, which excludes time deposits and foreign-currency deposits included in M2, rose 3.12 percent in July from a year ago, following a 5.22 percent increase the previous month.


Formosa increases profit

Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑), the world's second-largest maker of PVC, posted its biggest profit in three quarters as higher demand from China boosted product prices.

Net income rose 35 percent to NT$7.75 billion in the three months ended June 30, from NT$5.75 billion a year earlier, Formosa Plastics spokesman Jerry Lin (林勝冠) confirmed.

"PVC prices have been quite strong," bolstering the company's earnings, said Kuo Shou-ming, an analyst at SinoPac Securities Investment Trust Co (建華投信). "The mainland is lifting demand for commodities including PVC."

Second-quarter sales at Formosa Plastics, which also makes polyethylene for use in packaging and bottles, increased 20 percent from a year earlier to NT$38.8 billion, after falling 1.5 percent in the previous three months.

First-half profit declined 33 percent to NT$11.6 billion, or NT$2.02 per share, Formosa Plastics said in an e-mail statement yesterday.


NT dollar weaker

The New Taiwan dollar weakened against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, dropping NT$0.043 to close at NT$32.888.

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