Fri, Jul 13, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

BenQ announces profits

BenQ Corp (明基) said yesterday it had begun making profits during the past four months in the domestic market, thanks to strong demand for its liquid-crystal-display (LCD) TVs.

Hank Horng (洪漢青), president of BenQ's local branch, said the company had posted a "few-fold growth" in profitability during the last six months over last year.

Horng said the bright performance could be attributed to strong sales of BenQ's LCD TV sets, of which the company sold 35,000 units during the first half. That figure is expected to reach 100,000 by the end of the year.

The company was also betting on its projector sales, especially as the government procurement project began this quarter. It said it aims to reclaim its position among top 3 projector brand by December.

Sinyi Real Estate fined

The Fair Trade Commission yesterday fined Sinyi Real Estate Inc (信義房屋), the nation's largest housing agent, NT$1.5 million (US$45,800) for fraudulent advertising, which it said was a violation of Article 21(3) of the Fair Trade Act (公平交易法).

The commission said Sinyi Real Estate claimed in one of its Banciao (板橋) outlets in September 2005 that the firm had been rated No. 1 in the sector for 10 consecutive years by CommonWealth (天下雜誌), a Chinese-language business magazine.

Similar advertising also appeared in its other outlets in October and December the same year.

The commission determined that the firm had exaggerated its performance, misleading consumers into believing it was the best housing agent all the time. It demanded that Sinyi Real Estate cease such activities immediately.

Chang Sheng-ford promoted

The Ministry of Finance said yesterday that Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和), director-general of the Taxation Agency, will be promoted to the position of Deputy Minister of Finance, following approval by the Cabinet. Chang will be filling the vacancy left by Lin Tseng-chi (林增吉), who retired last month and now represents the government as the independent director at Fuhwa Financial Holding Co (復華金控).

Chang will temporarily double as the taxation agency's chief, the ministry said in a statement.

TEP invests in Taiwan

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEP), Asia's biggest power producer, will buy a 25 percent stake in a NT$10 billion generation project in Taiwan, capitalizing on growing demand here.

The Japanese power utility will pay ?3 billion (US$24.5 million) for the stake in Star Buck Power Corp, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement yesterday. The project partners will construct a 490,000-kilowatt, gas-fired thermal power plant, with commercial operation slated to begin in June 2009.

Tokyo Electric estimates Taiwan's annual power demand growth averaged 5.5 percent in the period from 1992 to last year.

Star Buck plans to sell power produced in Changhua County to Taiwan Power Co (台電) for 25 years, Tokyo Electric said.

NT drops against greenback

The New Taiwan dollar fell on speculation investors were shifting funds into higher-yielding assets overseas.

The local currency fell NT$0.059 to close at NT$32.793 against its US counterpart on the Taipei Forex Inc. Turnover was US$584 million, lower than US$866 million the previous day.

"The US bond market had a stronger performance this week, making it more attractive to investors than [the Taiwanese] market" and damping demand for the Taiwan dollar, said Hideki Hayashi, a foreign-exchange strategist at Shinko Securities Co in Tokyo.

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