Fri, Jun 22, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

TAIEX closes up

Shares rose 1.10 percent yesterday to a new seven-year high as strong liquidity drove follow-through interest after the previous day's sharp gains, dealers said.

Dealers said short covering -- where investors who bet the market would fall are forced to back their positions when it rises instead -- likely accounted for the advance.

Wednesday's jump of 2.13 percent clearly caught many out.

The TAIEX closed up 96.11 points at 8,851.99 after trading between 8,722.15 and 8,871.72 points on turnover of NT$184.76 billion (US$5.6 billion).

Angelo Koo on thin ice

The Ministry of Finance yesterday said Angelo Koo (辜仲瑩) might lose both his posts as China Development Financial Holding Co's (中華開發金控) president and board director if the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) finds he has violated the "principle of good faith."

The Koo family won two-thirds of China Development's board seats on June 15, with the remainder going to the government's control.

The ministry's high-level official said it has asked for the FSC's help to determine whether Koo is "fit and proper" as a major shareholder of the financial services provider.

If not, Koo will lose his positions in the same way Walter Lin (林華德) was removed by the FSC from his post as chairman of Waterland Financial Holding Co (國票金控) in June 2005 over his suspected involvement in the Procomp Informatics Co (博達科技) embezzlement scandal, the official said.

EMG makes overdue payment

Scandal-ridden Eastern Multimedia Group (EMG, 東森媒體集團) said yesterday that it had paid off its second installment of NT$406 million (US$12 million) yesterday, which was eight days earlier than the extended deadline. The payment was two months overdue.

EMG chairman and founder Gary Wang (王令麟) was taken into custody again on Sunday night, increasing jitters among lenders.

EMG has outstanding debts amounting to NT$3 billion.

Hsinchu Bank ratings up

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (S&P) said yesterday it had assigned its "A" long-term and "A-1" short-term counterparty credit ratings to Hsinchu International Bank (新竹國際商銀), with a stable outlook.

"The ratings on Hsinchu Bank reflect strong support from the company's new parent, Standard Chartered Bank [SCB], and the expectation that SCB's global resources will strengthen the bank's business and financial profile," S&P credit analyst Paul Clarkson said yesterday.

The Hsinchu lender holds a strategically important role supporting the British banking giant's strategy for northeast Asia, he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, S&P's local arm, Taiwan Ratings Corp (中華信評), yesterday raised its outlook rating on EnTie Commercial Bank (安泰銀行) to positive from stable, after Asian buyout firm Longreach Group agreed last Friday to buy the bank's 51 percent holding for NT$18.8 billion (US$571 million).

NT dollar strengthens

The New Taiwan dollar had its strongest close in more than three months as overseas investors increased their holdings of the nation's equities.

The currency rose for a second day after fund managers based abroad bought US$1.1 billion more local stocks than they sold today.

The buying helped the NT dollar advance NT$0.053 to close at NT$32.928 against the US dollar, according to Taipei Forex Inc. It was the strongest close since March 8.

Staff writer, with agencies";

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