Wed, Feb 11, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

Shares close up 0.7 percent

Taiwanese shares closed up 0.7 percent yesterday because of a rally in select electronic stocks, dealers said.

The weighted index rose 31.51 points to 4,526.1, on turnover of NT$59.32 billion (US$1.74 billion).

Gainers led losers by 888 to 629 with 234 stocks unchanged.

A total of 37 shares closed 7 percent limit-up against 17 that were limit-down.

“The market was slightly up today on the strong performance of some semiconductor, DRAM and LED shares,” said Allen Lin of Concord Securities (康和證券), projecting the index could rise to 4,817 points this week if trading volume increased.

Aegon looking for a buyer

Dutch life insurance and pension provider Aegon NV (全球人壽) is looking for a buyer to purchase its Taiwan operations, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported yesterday.

Aegon is looking for potential buyers among domestic financial service providers and insurance companies to buy its Taipei arm for NT$4 billion, the report said.

The Dutch insurer’s Taipei arm declined to comment on the report when approached by the Taipei Times. A person familiar with the situation, however, told Dow Jones Newswires on the condition of anonymity that selling the Taiwanese unit would give Aegon “some capital relief.”

The Financial Supervisory Commission declined to comment after receiving no response to its inquiries from Aegon Taiwan.

Non-performing loans drop

The ratio of non-performing loans (NPLs) in both the credit-card and cash-card markets continued to decrease to 1.59 percent and 3.586 percent respectively in December, Financial Supervisory Commission statistics showed.

The figures released yesterday by the Banking Bureau showed a 0.06 percent month-on-month decline in the credit-card market’s bad loans and a 0.76 percent drop in cash-card market bad loans, an FSC statement said.

As of December, total lending reached NT$122.7 billion (US$3.6 billion) and NT$87.7 billion respectively at 40 credit-card issuers and cash-card issuers.

Among the 40 credit-card issuers, Chinfon Commercial Bank (慶豐銀行) had the highest bad-loan ratio at 4.7 percent, while the other 39 issuers had NPL ratios below 3 percent.

Chinfon also had the highest bad-loan ratio in the cash-card market at 8.172 percent, followed by the Development Bank of Singapore (星展銀行) at 6.489 percent and Taishin International Bank (台新銀行) at 4.578 percent.

Twelve issuers had bad-loan ratios below 3 percent.

Tax revenues down 40 percent

The national treasury collected NT$74.7 billion (US$2.199 billion) in tax revenues last month, down NT$50 billion, or 40.1 percent, from the same period last year, chiefly because of the economic slump and a shorter month, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.

Business tax saw a drop of 53.7 percent to NT$2 billion, or a decrease of NT$25.2 billion from a year earlier, Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞), head of the statistics department, told a press conference.

Levies on securities transactions fell NT$6.9 billion from last year, followed by commodity and personal income taxes, which dropped NT$6.6 billion and NT$5.1 billion respectively, Lin said. Taxes on increased land value fell NT$3.3 billion, Lin said.

NT dollar loses ground

The New Taiwan dollar lost ground against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, falling NT$0.006 to close at NT$33.967. Turnover was US$867 million.

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