Sat, Jan 13, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Company forgoes discipline

In response to the financial regulator's demand that China Dev-elopment Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控) take self-punitive measures tomorrow, the company said yesterday that it had done nothing wrong in decision-making involving overseas investments and hence had no need to discipline staffers involved.

In a statement issued last night, the company said its banking unit China Development Industrial Bank (中華開發工銀) had exerted sufficient discretion in making a package sale of its overseas investment portfolio as well as in spinning off its asset management unit.

The company said the deals were proven to be helpful in its earnings last year, which grew 45 percent from 2005 to NT$1.38 per share. The policy-making and execution violated neither the law nor the firm's internal code of conduct, it added.

However, to demonstrate self-discipline and a sense of "moral responsibility," 11 of the company's high-level managers, including chairman Lin Cheng-i (林誠一) and president Angelo Koo (辜仲瑩), are willing to cut their monthly salaries by 30 percent for the next three months, the company said.

The Financial Supervisory Commission declined to comment on China Development Financial's decision, saying it hadn't received official notification.

On Dec. 14, the commission fined the bank NT$10 million and demanded punishment within one month of people responsible for serious internal control flaws in its decision-making process.

Executive's China trip confirmed

Taishin Financial Holdings Co (台新金控), owner of the nation's second-largest credit-card issuer, said yesterday that its chairman had visited Xiamen in China, prompting speculation it was looking for an investment opportunity in a bank in China.

The Central News Agency said earlier yesterday that Taishin Financial chairman Thomas Wu (吳東亮) went to Xiamen to visit clients who need financial services resulting from to the busy trade between Taiwan and China.

The company said in a statement later yesterday that Wu and his wife took a "private" trip to Xiamen, but didn't give any further details.

Costa Rica trade pact mulled

Costa Rica and Taiwan are considering negotiating a free trade pact, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) made the proposal at a brief meeting in Managua on the sidelines of Nicaragua's presidential inauguration this week, La Nacion daily reported, quoting Costa Rican Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno.

Arias was said to be optimistic about the possibility, the report said, though no time frame was mentioned.

Chen also urged Costa Rica to join the APEC forum, it said.

Cosmos Bank rating affirmed

Taiwan Ratings Corp (中華信評) yesterday affirmed its "twA-" long-term and "twA-2" short-term counterparty credit ratings on Cosmos Bank (萬泰銀行), with a stable outlook, it said in a statement.

The ratings reflect the bank's good niche position in Taiwan's cash card market, Taiwan Ratings said. The bank's high-profile "George & Mary" cash cards commanded a 27 percent share of the domestic cash card market, in terms of total loan balance, at the end of November last year.

But the ratings agency warned of the lender's mediocre capitalization, saying it provides only a limited buffer against potential credit costs, the statement said.

NT dollar edges up

The New Taiwan dollar gained against its US counterpart yesterday, rising NT$0.014 to close at NT$32.760 on the Taipei Forex Inc.

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