Wed, Feb 13, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Fubon may invest in Xiamen

The Hong Kong branch of Taipei Fubon Financial Holding (富邦金控) -- the nation's third-largest financial-service provider -- may soon be allowed to invest in its Chinese rival Xiamen City Commercial Bank (廈門商銀), as the government is studying possible easing of the regulations, Financial Supervisory Commission vice chairman Susan Chang (張秀蓮) told a press conference yesterday.

"It won't take long," said Chang regarding the process of regulation amendments.

When asked whether local banks would be allowed to invest directly in Chinese banks, Chang said all the options are under the FSC's scrutiny, but it would be more difficult because Chinese authorities demand a US$10 billion (NT$318 billion) asset threshold for foreign banks interested in taking a stake in their banks.

Taipei Fubon's Hong Kong branch met the US$6 billion asset threshold for Hong Kong banks to invest in a Chinese bank. Local media reported that Taipei Fubon plans to invest 500 million yuan (US$69.5 million) to take a 20 percent stake in Xiamen City Commercial Bank.

Morgan Stanley appoints CEO

Morgan Stanley appointed Owen Thomas as chief executive officer for Asia, replacing Hans Schuettler, who resigned last month for personal reasons after less than two years on the job.

Thomas, who has been president of Morgan Stanley's asset management unit since December 2005, will assume the position at the end of this month, the New York-based company said in a statement. via email Stephen Roach will remain chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, the firm said.

"Asia is a key growth opportunity for the firm," Walid Chammah, the bank's co-president, said in the statement. "We are confident that under

Owen's leadership our Asian franchise will continue to be a standout performer in the region." Owen, 46, will move to Hong Kong from New York, Morgan Stanley said.

Chi Mei sales down

Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電), the world's fourth largest supplier of flat-panel displays for computers and televisions, yesterday reported NT$28.3 billion (US$884.9 million) in sales for last month, 8.6 percent down from NT$30.928 billion in December.

Shipments of the company's large-size panels reached 4.56 million units last month, a smaller-than-expected decline of 3 percent compared with December's 4.7 million units, the company said yesterday.

Shipments of middle and small-size panels totaled 8.46 million units last month, it said.

Chi Mei expected its first quarter shipments of large-size panels to see a 5 percent to 6 percent drop with the average selling price to fall by 5 percent to 6 percent.

In addition, the company said that the recent snow storms in China will negatively impact its shipments, which may drop by 8 percent.

Ten-year bonds auctioned

The Central Bank auctioned 10-year bonds with a value totaling NT$30 billion yesterday. The highest bid for the auction was 2.6050 percent, lower than the 3.0030 percent at the previous 10-year bond auction on Nov. 16 last year.

Bidding rates ranged between 2.3810 percent and 2.6050 percent for this bond action. The bond will be issued tomorrow, and will mature on Feb. 14, 2018.

NT dollar gains ground

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday firmed by NT$0.126 to trade at NT$31.884 against the US dollar on turnover of US$1.121 billion.

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