Thu, Jul 19, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

CAL denies purchase plans

The nation's largest carrier China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 華航) said yesterday that it has no plans to purchase Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger jets for the moment, rebutting a report by the Chinese-language China Times daily.

The report said Taipei-based CAL would spend US$1.26 billion to purchase seven Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger jets to replace its seven older Airbus 340-300 planes, which are around seven to eight years old.

The carrier is evaluating the replacement of some passenger jets, according to the statement.

A possible procurement by CAL has a possible political angle, given the attractiveness of balancing a trade surplus with the US.

Citing CAL president Ringo Chao (趙國帥), the report said the carrier had just completed a five-year aircraft replacement program, and was evaluating the next replacement project.

The China Times said Minister of Transportation and Communications Tsai Duei (蔡堆) went to the US last week for a briefing on the new plane.

"China Airlines did not decide on the purchase and has not placed any order," the statement read. "Tsai's visit has nothing to do with China Airlines."

Formosa Plastics to be fined

Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑) will be fined for failing to reduce water consumption, Edward Huang (黃光輝), director-general of the Environmental Protection Ad-ministration's (EPA) department of comprehensive planning, said yesterday.

The company has until the end of the month to respond before the government decides details of the fine, Huang said. Formosa Chemicals & Fiber Corp (台灣化學纖維) also faces a similar penalty, he said.

By law, breaking water consumption rules is punishable by NT$300,000 (US$9,100) to NT$1.5 million a day, he said.

The Cabinet overturned the EPA's decision in March to fine the group a combined NT$7 million for breaking rules on water usage.

Pou Chen sells more shares

Local footwear maker Pou Chen Corp (寶成) said yesterday that a European institutional investor had bought 114.84 million shares, or a 4.69 percent stake, in the company for about NT$4.2 billion.

The shares were sold by units of Pou Chen, a company official said.

"The disposals are aimed at [improving] corporate governance for Pou Chen," the official said.

He did not disclose the identity of the investor, but the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported that EFG of Switzerland was the buyer.

With the deal and some earlier share disposals, seven Pou Chen units have realized gains of NT$1.64 billion from a sale of 122.49 million shares of the parent firm for NT$4.51 billion, the Pou Chen official said.

Fubon denies Xiamen deal

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) yesterday denied a report that it will ink an official investment pact tomorrow with Xiamen City Commercial Bank (廈門市商銀) to buy a 20 percent share of the Chinese rival for 600 million yuan (US$79.3 million), or 2.2 yuan per share.

The Chinese-language Win Win Weekly reported yesterday that a consortium comprising Fubon Financial and other unnamed investors will strike the long-rumored deal with the Xiamen lender this week for a total 51 percent share.

"There is no such deal," Fubon Financial spokesman Victor Kung (龔天行) said in a statement last night.

The company hopes to develop itself into a "first-class financial institution in Asia" by building a complete network in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.

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