Fri, Dec 22, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ TAIEX down 27.41 points

Shares closed 0.36 percent lower yesterday on profit-taking following Wall Street's lackluster performance overnight. Companies with large real estate holdings led the decline, dealers said.

The TAIEX fell 27.41 points to 7,620.94, on turnover of NT$109.71 billion (US$3.37 billion). Decliners led gainers 818 to 358, with 160 stocks unchanged.

■ Development project inked

Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽), one of the nation's top three life insurers, inked an agreement with My Humble House Hospitality Management Consulting Firm (寒舍餐旅顧問公司), which runs the Sheraton Taipei Hotel, to develop its A12 lot in the Xinyi District into a five-star hotel, Shin Kong Life said yesterday.

The 2,953-ping A12 will be developed into a complex with a 24,000 ping (79,200m2) floor area including a hotel, department stores and upscale office space. The construction is slated to be completed by the end of 2009, Shin Kong Life said in a statement.

"Shin Kong Life is highly confident of My Humble House's capability to manage hotel business, considering Sheraton Taipei's rising revenue, which could exceed NT$2 billion this year," the insurer said.

The 21-storey office area will target international companies and foreign financial institutions as leaseholders, it said.

■ New bank branches on the way

Financial Supervisory Commission officials released amended rules yesterday that allow local banks to open new branches from next year.

The commission will license no more than 10 new branches per year, and each bank will open no more than two branches.

To qualify, banks have to meet 10 requirements, including having a capital adequacy ratio above 10 percent after excluding losses incurred from the sale of bad assets; a bad loan ratio below 2 percent; bad debt coverage ratio greater than 50 percent at the end of March; average return on equity of more than 5 percent for the past three years; no losses incurred in the previous fiscal year; and no breach of laws in that year.

The regulator said it would receive applications each May.

■ Share sales to fund WiMAX

The country's only low-power PHS mobile service provider, First International Telecom Corp (大眾電信) said it will seek board members' support for a share sale proposal to finance deployment of the next-generation WiMAX.

First International Telecom president Charlie Wu (吳清源) said WiMAX would be a new growth engine, as the company can offer data services for the new technology. With narrow bandwidth, its PHS service is mostly used by making calls, Wu said.

Wu did not give a specific amount for the proposed sale. The company has NT$3.6 billion (US$110.5 million) in capital.

The telecom company has already received a total of NT$1.28 billion in subsidies from the government to deploy WiMAX base stations over the next two years.

It plans to build 160 WiMAX stations in the northern Taiwan by the end of next year.

■ Ford president moves on

Ford Lio Ho Motor Co (福特六和), the nation's fourth-biggest automaker, yesterday announced that president Jeffrey Shen (沈英銓) will assume the presidency of China's Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co (長安福特馬自達). Shen will replace Phil Spender from Jan. 1, according to the company's statement.

Shen became the president of Ford Lio Ho in December 2001, and was the first Taiwanese to run the company in its 30-year history.

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