Fri, Sep 14, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER , WITH AGENCIES

Wall Street, oil hurt shares

Shares closed 1.01 percent lower yesterday on worries over high crude oil prices and Wall Street's lackluster performance overnight, dealers said.

Concerns over President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) efforts to push a referendum on seeking UN membership despite opposition by Washington and Beijing also weighed on sentiment, they said.

The TAIEX closed down 90.70 points at 8,927.42 off a low of 8,924.62. It reached a high of 9,062.31. Turnover was NT$112.53 billion (US$3.41 billion).

Decliners outnumbered advancers 1,331 to 408, with 249 stocks unchanged.

Fuhwa Securities Corp (復華證券) assistant vice president Samson Chueh (闕山雄) said many investors were watching developments in the US.

"Investors here continued to wait for the Fed's rate decision and developments in the US market," he said, referring to an expected cut is US borrowing rates later this month.

On the foreign exchange market, the New Taiwan dollar rose NT$0.003 to close at NT$33.066 against its US counterpart.

Turnover was US$711 million on the Taipei Forex Inc, up from US$671 million the previous day.

FSC backs amendment

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday gave a green light to an amended bill on the establishment of new financial holding companies.

The amendment raises the threshold for setting up new financial holdings to NT$60 billion (US$1.8 billion) in capitalization from NT$20 billion.

The commission also said new financial holdings would need to have NT$750 billion in assets, more than double the previous NT$300 billion.

The announcement came after its policymaking members gave the go-ahead to the amendment in a meeting earlier yesterday.

The government has given approval to 14 financial holding firms to operate in this country.

Taipei Fubon secures lottery

The Ministry of Finance is expected to confirm that Taipei Fubon Bank (台北富邦銀行) will operate the national sports lottery, after the Financial Supervisory Commission affirmed the bank's bidding credentials, National Treasury Agency Director-General Su Le-ming (蘇樂明) said yesterday.

Taipei Fubon Bank won the license last Monday, but the official announcement was delayed as competitor Bank of Kaohsiung (高雄銀行) questioned the fairness of the selection procedure, saying Taipei Fubon was not qualified because of prior wrongdoing.

According to the rules, bidders should not have committed any major violation of financial regulations in the year before the deadline for bid submissions.

Daniel Chiang (蔣國樑), chief investment officer of the bank's parent company, Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), was detained last month on alleged insider trading. But the Financial Supervisory Commission said this was the act of an individual and not directly linked to the bank.

More stores for President

President Chain Store Corp (統一超商), the largest convenience-store operator in the nation, said yesterday it was planning to open 200 supermarkets in China's Shandong Province by 2010.

Shandong PCSC Ginza Supermarket (山東統一銀座), of which President Chain Store owns 55 percent, also aims to attain sales of 1.5 billion yuan (US$199 million) in 2010, against 600 million yuan targeted for this year.

Established in July 2005, the joint venture now has 52 supermarket outlets in Shandong.

It made a profit of 7.0 million yuan on sales of 430 million yuan last year, while the profit target for this year is 20 million yuan.

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