■ Chinatrust in the black
Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) was back in the black after its monthly financial result last month, as its banking arm's reserve expenses covering consumer bad debt decreased, the company said yesterday.
The company posted earnings of NT$16 million (US$486,000) last month alone, as monthly bad loan reserves costs fell to NT$2.8 billion, down by NT$570 million sequentially, which was a drop for the fifth month in a row, it said.
For the first eight months of the year, the company incurred a deficit of NT$2.79 billion, or a loss of NT$0.49 per share, after booking a provisional expense of NT$30.52 billion amid a storm over consumer credit abuse, it added.
■ Powerchip firms on venture talk
Shares for Powerchip Semicon-ductor Corp (力晶半導體) advanced 2.1 percent to NT$22.3 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday, after expectations that the nation's top computer chipmaker may form a venture with Elpida Memory Inc, Japan's biggest memory chipmaker.
Elpida chief executive officer Yukio Sakamoto has visited Taiwan recently, which strengthened the speculation.
Elpida may form the venture to produce memory chips at its Taiwanese factory to cut costs, the Nihon Keizai newspaper reported last Saturday.
The venture would take over an existing Powerchip plant in central Taiwan, the Nihon Keizai said. The companies may set up the venture with initial capital of about NT$10 billion, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported last Saturday.
■ Want Want probed over hospital
The Ministry of Economic Affairs is investigating whether Tsai Yen-ming (蔡衍明), CEO of Want Want Group (旺旺集團), has breached regulations on China-bound investment. As one of the major shareholders of the Singaporean holding company, Tsai is subject to the rule that Taiwanese individuals must not invest more than NT$80 million in China.
Want Want opened a hospital in Hunan Province at the end of last year. It reportedly controls 70 percent of the 700 million yuan (US$88 million) project.
The ministry's Investment Commission said a preliminary investigation had established that Tsai might have revoked his household registration in Taiwan, which would free him from regulations in the Statute Governing Relations between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例).
However, if he still resided in Taiwan when the investment was made, the commission would issue fines to a maximum of NT$25 million, according to a CNA report.
■ Hsu wants retirees in Tainan
The Tainan City Government is thinking of building a "model retirement village" to attract retirees who want to enjoy life at an easier tempo.
Tainan Mayor Hsu Tien-tsai (許添財) told reporters yesterday that the city government has formed an inter-departmental task force to work out a plan that would encourage people from northern Taiwan to spend their retirement in Tainan.
Citing the advantages of living in the city, Hsu said property in Tainan is less expensive, while the cost of living is also cheaper than northern Taiwan.
Hsu said the city government would seek assistance from the Ministry of the Interior to acquire land to build the village, which would consist of apartment blocks to accommodate the elderly. He said the private sector would be invited to participate in the project.
■ NT dollar loses ground
The New Taiwan dollar lost ground against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, falling NT$0.040 to close at NT$32.920 on a turnover of US$696 million.