Wed, Feb 13, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Chunghwa turns to assets

MAXIMIZING Owning more than 16,000m2 of property around the nation, the telecom operator intends to turn many of its assets into housing and office rental space

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation's biggest telecom operator, set up a property development and management subsidiary yesterday to improve its assets use.

The newly established Light Era Development Co (光世代建設開發公司) is now in charge of developing about NT$3.7 billion (US$116.2 million) in properties -- about 5,000 ping (16,500m2) of floor space located mostly in the greater Taipei area and Changhua County, company chairman Hank Wang (王漢朝) said.

"This is the first phase. Chunghwa Telecom has plenty of properties, which we are considering turning into housing, or office buildings for lease," Wang said.

The subsidiary has been tasked with developing and managing the properties and other buildings transferred from the parent company to maximize the asset value of Chunghwa Telecom, Light Era said in a press release.

Chunghwa Telecom has a total of 410 hectares of idle properties around the nation.

Light Era will announce the new development projects in collaboration with local construction companies later this year, Wang said.

In addition to the underdeveloped Chunghwa Telecom lots, Light Era also obtained two land development projects worth NT$2 billion with local property developer Ruentex Development Co (潤泰創新國際) and Kindom Construction Co (冠德建設) to build housing complexes in Taipei City and a hotel in Kenting (墾丁), Pintung County.

Light Era expects the property development plans will start generating income within three to five years from their completion.

Light Era said it would list on the local stock market within the next three years at the earliest, Wang said.

The company intends to increase its capital to NT$5 billion from NT$3 billion through an initial public offering.

Chunghwa hired Dennis Zeng (曾定祈), former vice president of Shining Group (鄉林集團), to be the president of the subsidiary.

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