Sat, Nov 15, 2008 - Page 12 News List

CSBC confident of posting healthy earnings this year

By Elizabeth Tchii  /  STAFF REPORTER

CSBC Corp, Taiwan (CSBC, 台灣國際造船), the nation’s largest shipbuilder, said yesterday that pre-tax profits this year would likely exceed its earnings last year of NT$4 billion (US$120.7 million).

With a capital base of NT$6.66 billion, the company reported cumulative pre-tax profits of NT$2.6 billion in the first three quarters of this year.

The shipbuilding giant’s business is booming and it has orders booked until 2012, CSBC assistant vice president Chen Wen-shen (陳文賢) said in a telephone interview yesterday.

CSBC has attracted wide investor interest and is proceeding full force with its initial public offering (IPO) on Dec. 22, he said.

Despite the slump in Taiwan’s financial markets, the shipbuilder is confident its road show to sell shares to institutional clients, foreign financial institutions and Taiwanese citizens over the age of 20 will be successful. As part of its privatization plan, CSBC will release 51 percent of its total equity.

The company will host a road show on Nov. 25 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Taipei. The lead underwriter of the deal is Fubon Securities Co (富邦證券), with SinoPac Securities Corp (永豐金證券) acting as the co-underwriter.

In the first step of the fund-raising process, the shipbuilder hopes to auction 131,896,000 shares at a base price of NT$13.31. All shares have to be sold before the second block of shares (87,928,000 shares) will be made available.

“CSBC has a history going back 40 years. Our customers come from all parts of the world — Japan, South Korea, Brazil, India, Chile, Spain and Sweden. In the 60s and 70s, CSBC was in the business of ship assembly, copying designs from elsewhere. Now we cover all bases from design, planning and development to actual manufacturing,” Chen said in the interview.

For this year, CSBC’s main clients are companies in Germany, Japan and South Korea, as well as local firms such as Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) and Wan Hai Lines Ltd (萬海航運), Chen said.

CSBC mainly builds container vessels, but it also supplies oil tankers, bulk carriers, naval ships and oil drilling rigs. Its other business lines include commercial and naval ship repair, machinery production engineering and smoke stacks for power plants, he said.

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