Sun, Jul 15, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ Banking

NT dollar allowed for OBUs

The nation's central bank has allowed commercial banks' offshore banking units (OBUs) to take New Taiwan dollar-denominated assets as collateral, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported yesterday. Effective immediately, commercial banks' OBUs can take NT dollar-denominated securities, property or other assets as collateral to their foreign currency lending, the newspaper said, without citing sources. Previously, the OBUs of Taiwanese banks could only take foreign currency-denominated assets as collateral to their foreign currency lending. The bank hopes the new measure could further develop local capital markets while helping OBUs become more competitive, the newspaper said.

■ Oil

Glitch slows Formosa plant

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化), the nation's only publicly traded oil refiner, cut the operating rate at one of its three ethylene plants to 90 percent because of mechanical problems. The plant, which has a capacity to make 700,000 tonnes of ethylene a year from naphtha, started running at a lower rate this week, Lin Keh-yen (林克彥), director of the president's office, said in a phone interview on Friday. Formosa is maintaining its ethylene and propylene output by boosting operations at another unit. "We are investigating the problem before taking further action, which may include shutting down the plant to carry out thorough repairs," Lin said.

■ Trade

China bars US meat firms

China has suspended imports from several major US meat processors in the latest indication the government may be retaliating as its products are turned back from overseas because of safety concerns. Frozen poultry products from Tyson Foods Inc were found to be contaminated with salmonella, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said on its Web site on Friday. Imports from other firms barred by China included frozen chicken feet tainted with residue of an anti-parasite drug, the agency said.

■ Electronics

Hon Hai eyeing LCD stake

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the nation's top manufacturer of electronics parts, may buy part of the stake Royal Philips Electronics NV wants to sell in South Korea's LG.Philips LCD Co, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported yesterday. The newspaper said the move could help Innolux DisplayCorp (群創光電), a Hon Hai affiliate which is also the nation's smallest liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panel maker, secure more panels. Philips owns about a one-third stake in LG.Philips LCD, the world's No. 2 LCD maker. The Dutch company has said it planned to sell at least part of its stake in LG.Philips LCD once its ownership lock-up expires this month.

■ Automakers

Nissan to ramp up minivans

Nissan Motor Co will double annual production in Indonesia of a minivan targeted at developing countries, the Nikkei newspaper reported, without saying where it obtained the information. Nissan, which introduced the Grand Livina minivan in China last year and in Indonesia in April, will from this summer increase annual production to 36,000 units, the report said. The carmaker hopes to make cars in Indonesia to export to other Asian countries, the Nikkei reported, citing an unidentified official at Nissan.

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