Forex reserves rise
Taiwan’s foreign exchange reserves totaled US$280.69 billion at the end of last month, the central bank reported yesterday.
The figure represents an increase of US$2.53 billion over the previous month’s level and leaves Taiwan with the fourth-highest foreign reserves behind China, Japan and Russia, central bank officials said.
The officials attributed the increase to interest earned on foreign exchange reserve investments and the appreciation of some reserve currencies such as the euro and the yen relative to the greenback.
CPC cuts gas, diesel prices
The state-run oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) announced yesterday that domestic gasoline and diesel prices will be lowered by NT$0.1 per liter respectively, effective today, in a bid to reflect the drop in international crude prices.
CPC’s price cut sends domestic gasoline and diesel prices to their lowest levels in nearly five years. Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化), the nation’s only publicly traded oil refiner, also announced it would follow CPC’s price cut.
After the adjustment, CPC’s price for a liter of 98-octane unleaded gasoline is NT$22.7, 95-octane unleaded gasoline is NT$21.2, 92-octane unleaded gasoline is NT$20.5, and diesel is NT$17.2.
Taiwan Coop in sale plan
Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫銀行), a state-controlled lender, plans to raise as much as NT$20 billion (US$596 million) selling unsecured subordinated debt to boost finances.
The bank’s board approved the sale of bonds next year to help boost the lender’s capital adequacy ratio, a measure of financial strength, Taiwan Cooperative said in a statement to the Taiwan stock exchange yesterday.
Taiwan Cooperative is 36.8 percent-owned by the Ministry of Finance.
Formosa offers bonds
Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化), the nation’s only publicly traded oil refiner, said yesterday that its board approved a plan to issue NT$18 billion in unsecured corporate bonds.
The firm plans to issue NT$6 billion in bonds this year and NT$12 billion next year to repay debt and boost finances, the company said in a stock exchange filing.
The bonds will have a maturity of not more than seven years, the statement said.
Fubon Financial buying shares
Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) said yesterday that it would buy new shares issued by its wholly owned Fubon Life Assurance Co (富邦人壽) at NT$20 per share, Fubon Financial said in a stock exchange filing.
The share purchase at NT$20 is lower than the NT$30 per share that Fubon Financial announced previously, because the company wanted to move the price closer to the market level to reflect the “drastic changes in market environment in the near term,” the filing said.
Fubon Life plans to raise NT$5 billion in new capital by issuing 250 million shares to strengthen its financial structure and boost its capital adequacy ratio, the filing said.
NT dollar down this week
The New Taiwan dollar declined this week on speculation a government report will show that the global economic slowdown cut demand for Taiwan’s electronics exports.
The currency fell 0.8 percent this week to NT$33.549 to the greenback at the 4pm close, according to Taipei Forex Inc.
It ended little changed yesterday after touching NT$33.612, the weakest level since Oct. 28.