Sat, Nov 03, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

New presidents named

Three subsidiaries of the Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團), the nation's biggest business conglomerate, yesterday appointed new presidents to take the helms of the companies, effective yesterday.

In separate filings to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) said executive vice president Su Chi-yi (蘇啟邑) has taken over the president position from Wilfred Wang (王文潮), who is also chairman of the company.

Wu Chia-chau (吳嘉昭), Nan Ya Plastics Corp's (南亞塑膠) executive vice president has been promoted to president, taking over the position from chairman Wu Chin-jen (吳欽仁).

Formosa Chemical and Fiber Corp (台化) chairman Wong Wen-yuan (王文淵) has handed his president position to vice president Hong Fu-yuan (洪福源), the filing said.

The new appointments showed the group is handing management of the companies to professional managers from chairman Wang Yung-ching's (王永慶) family to enhance corporate efficiency, a company official said.

Aeon to liquidate Taiwan unit

Aeon Co, Japan's second-biggest retailer, said it will liquidate its wholly owned unit in Taiwan, shifting its focus to China.

The subsidiary, which operated one store, generated sales of NT$1.4 billion (US$43.2 million) last business year, Aeon said in a release yesterday. The liquidation will have no impact on its earnings for the current fiscal year, the parent company said.

Aeon, facing stagnant sales growth in Japan, plans to develop shopping centers in China around its flagship Jusco stores to attract customers and compete with Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Carrefour SA.

CPC to restart processing plant

State-run CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) plans to restart a fire-damaged crude processing unit within four weeks, a company official said.

The facility in southern Taiwan has been shut since Oct. 26, when a pump leak caused a fire.

The company, based in Taipei, has three refineries with a total capacity of 720,000 barrels a day. CPC closed a 50,000 barrel-a-day unit in 2005 permanently because of local residents' concern over pollution. It controls about 75 percent of Taiwan's gasoline and diesel markets.

Flight fuel surcharge to increase

The fuel surcharge on air tickets issued after Nov. 15 will be increased, the Civil Aeronautics Administration announced on Thursday. The fuel surcharge for short-haul flights -- flights from Taipei to Asian destinations -- will be increased by US$2.5 per sector to US$20.

The surcharge for long-haul flights, including those to Australia and New Zealand, will increase by US$6.5 per sector to US$52 per ticket.

The rate increases reflect rising oil prices, the administration said.

Citic and Bear Stearns link up

China's Citic Securities Co (中信證券) said yesterday its board has approved an alliance with US investment bank Bear Stearns Cos that gives the companies cross-ownership of each other.

The transaction is still pending approval from Chinese and US regulators, China's largest securities firm said in a statement.

Bear Stearns and Citic Securities last month agreed in principle to invest about US$1 billion in each other for minority stakes that could be expanded. They will also operate a 50-50 joint venture in Hong Kong to offer capital market services across Asia.

The investment is the biggest of its kind between a US and Chinese financial institution and highlights China's increasing strength in global financial markets.

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