Thu, Oct 05, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Stocks down over N Korea

Shares closed 1.18 percent lower yesterday as concerns over North Korea's nuclear test plans wiped out early gains inspired by the record close on Wall Street, dealers said.

With the five-day holiday starting tomorrow, investors opted to lock in profits from recent gainers, including China plays and financial shares, they said.

The TAIEX closed down 81.90 points at the day's low of 6,874.98 on turnover of NT$77.54 billion (US$2.35 billion).

Decliners led risers 746 to 371, with 133 stocks unchanged.

■ Citigroup upbeat on debt

Citigroup Taiwan expects the nation's consumer credit crisis to bottom out in the fourth quarter, a senior company executive said yesterday.

"According to our evaluation, the bad debt that most lenders wrote off peaked in the second quarter. It will take about six months to write off the rest of the bad debt," Victor Kuan (管國霖), country manager of Citibank's consumer banking business in Taiwan, told a news conference.

"Therefore, we expect the consumer credit crisis to bottom out in the fourth quarter," Kuan said.

■ New postings at the FSC

The Cabinet yesterday approved a slew of personnel changes in the Financial Supervisory Commission, with legal affairs director-general Austin Chan (詹庭禎) taking up the post of secretary-general, the commission said in a statement.

The Cabinet also promoted Yang Nan (楊柟), secretary-general of the commission's Banking Bureau, to bureau deputy director-general, while Chen Wei-lung (陳惟龍), deputy director-general of the Insurance Bureau, was named deputy director-general of the Securities and Futures Bureau.

Chen's spot will be filled by Insurance Bureau Secretary-General Tseng Yu-chiong (曾玉瓊), the commission said.

■ FSC strengthens S Africa ties

The Financial Supervisory Commission said on Tuesday that it had inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on bilateral financial supervisory cooperation in securities and the insurance industries with South Africa's Financial Services Board.

The renewed pact was the first agreement signed under the name of "FSC, Taiwan" with a country that is not a diplomatic ally. The securities and insurance sectors are covered in the same MOU, the commission said.

Taiwan has signed MOUs on bilateral financial supervisory collaboration with 24 countries, including the UK, France and the Netherlands, according to the financial watchdog.

■ AIG looking for targets

The American International Group (AIG) is looking for investment opportunities in Taiwan as part of plans to fuel its expansion and strengthen its commitment to local customers, said Martin Sullivan, AIG president and chief executive officer, yesterday in Taipei.

Sullivan was in town to attend the inauguration ceremony of the new headquarters of Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽), AIG's subsidiary, in Taipei's bustling Xinyi District.

He said he had regularly discussed with Nan Shan Life chairman Edmund Tse (謝仕榮) whether there were appropriate targets for mergers.

Sales of life and non-life insurance currently account for 40 percent of AIG interests, while asset management accounts for around 20 percent, he added.

■ NT dollar falls

The New Taiwan dollar turned weak against its US counterpart yesterday, declining NT$0.065 to close at NT$33.120.

Turnover was US$742 million.

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