■ Stock Exchange takes action
The Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp yesterday said that it would impose three new measures to safeguard investors' interests in the wake of the Rebar Asia Pacific Group (力霸亞太企業集團) financial scandal.
The new measures include a new mechanism to discover financially unstable companies at an early stage.
The second measure is to impose a trading on separate brackets whenever a stock is banned from margin trading.
The stock regulator will also link up with courts, so that it will immediately be informed if listed companies apply for bankruptcy protection.
■ FSC vows to punish accountants
The Financial Supervisory Commission said yesterday it would heavily punish the public certified accountants who have endorsed the questionable financial books of China Rebar Co (中國力霸) and Chia Hsin Food and Synthetic Fiber Co (嘉新食品化學), members of the scandal-ridden Rebar Group, and hand the case to prosecutors for investigation.
The accountants made significant mistakes by failing to add comments about the uncertain impact on the two companies brought by 24 creditor banks' pending the approval of payback extension, the commission said in a statement that was released yesterday.
As of the end of September last year, the two firms' debt ratio had soared above 85 percent, respectively, the commission said.
According to Article 37 of Securities and Exchange Law (證交法) and Article 40 of Public Certifies Accountant Law (會計師法), the commission can suspend the accountants for two years or even revoke their qualifications.
RSM International (廣信益群) is reportedly the accounting services agency hired by the two companies that filed for bankruptcy late last month.
■ Gamania shares slump
Gamania Digital Entertainment Co (遊戲橘子) shares plunged by the 7 percent daily limit to NT$35.9 (US$1.1) yesterday, after local media reported that prosecutors searched the offices of the online PC gaming developer last Thursday on suspicion of insider trading.
Chinese-language media reports said that prosecutors found that in 2002, high-level officials at Gamania offloaded more than 1 million company shares before it announced losses incurred from overseas investment. After selling the shares, the company bought back nearly 5 million shares in December 2002, according to the report.
Gamania said in a statement released yesterday that last week's investigation was linked to a previous case in which Gamania was allegedly bribing lawmakers to convoy its listing on the GRETAI Securities Market five years ago.
Gamania stressed that the company had not been involved in any illegal practices, and would fully cooperate with the investigation, according to the statement.
■ Macquarie eyes Rebar unit
A private equity fund raised by Australia's Macquarie Bank Ltd has approached Asia Pacific Broadband Wireless Communications Inc (亞太行動), a unit of the ailing Rebar Asia Pacific Group (力霸亞太企業集團), for a possible acquisition, it was reported yesterday.
The Macquarie fund is believed to be offering US$200 million to US$300 million for Asia Pacific Broadband, which now has 1.05 million subscribers to its 3G services, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported, without naming its sources.
■ NT dollar gains ground
The New Taiwan dollar appreciated against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, gaining NT$0.003 to close at NT$32.757.
US$729 million changed hands during the day's trading.
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