Wed, Oct 08, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs


Share prices close up

Share prices closed up 0.34 percent yesterday, recovering some earlier losses sustained in the global market rout, dealers said.

The weighted index was up 18.96 points at 5,524.66, on turnover of NT$59.25 billion (US$1.85 billion).

Losers led gainers by 863 to 714 with 397 stocks unchanged.

The market opened 2.8 percent lower, after closing down 4.12 percent to 5,505.70 at a four-year low on Monday as a result of fears over a global economic meltdown.

Mega announces writedown

Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控), the nation’s third-biggest finance company by market value, said its brokerage unit wrote down the value of its Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc bonds, totaling about US$15.4 million.

Taipei-based Mega Financial made the disclosure in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

Pay-TV subscribers rising

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) expects subscribers for its pay-TV services to expand to a break-even level of 800,000 households in the second quarter of next year, a company executive said yesterday.

Chunghwa Telecom has been trying to boost subscription by offering more high-quality digital content, including live broadcasts of the Beijing Olympics in August, for Internet TV customers, although the Internet TV business accounted for a minimal portion of its revenues.

That helped increase subscribers, bringing the total number of subscribers to nearly 600,000, said Chao Min (趙敏), director of Chunghwa Telecom’s digital content development department.

Chunghwa Telecom signed a contract yesterday with Fox International Channels to add three popular channels to the 83 channels included in its multimedia-on-demand platform.

Fox will pay NT$400,000 in carriage fees for each channel per year, Chao said.

Nan Shan to issue shares

American International Group Inc’s (AIG) local life insurance unit, Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽), plans to raise NT$47.2 billion in a rights offer to meet the government’s capital requirements.

Nan Shan, 95 percent owned by AIG, plans to sell 472.2 million new shares at NT$100 each. Existing shareholders can subscribe for three new shares for every two held, the company said in a statement on its Web site.

The share sale, approved by Nan Shan’s board on Friday, will raise cash and boost the risk-based capital ratio, according to the statement. The government requires insurers to have a minimum ratio of 200 percent.

Government auctions lender

The government auctioned off Asia Trust and Investment Corp (亞洲信託) to Standard Chartered Bank yesterday for NT$3.348 billion, the Central Deposit Insurance Corp (CDIC, 中央存保) announced.

Another auction, for Asia Trust’s impaired assets, was set for this morning, CDIC said.

The auction failed in the first two rounds of bidding, after no buyers offered higher prices than the government’s floor prices to acquire the lender’s headquarters, seven branches, assets and debts.

The CDIC took over Asia Trust on Jan. 31, after the lender reported a negative net worth of NT$262 million at the end of last year and offered no concrete plan to raise sufficient capital.

NT dollar loses ground

The NT dollar lost ground against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, declining NT$0.007 to close at NT$32.35.

A total of US$1.614 million changed hands during the day’s trading.

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