Sat, Apr 04, 2009 - Page 11 News List

[BUSINESS BRIEFS]

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Foreign exchange reserves up

The nation’s foreign exchange reserves stood at US$300.12 billion last month, up US$5.935 billion from a month earlier, on rising exchange rates for the euro, the British pound and other currencies held by the central bank, the monetary regulator said yesterday.

“Foreign exchange reserves denominated in these currencies appreciated against the base currency, the US dollar,” Department of Foreign Exchange Deputy Director-General Lin Sun-yuan (林孫源) said.

Lin said the central bank’s foreign reserve management strategy also contributed to the increase.

The gain did not alter Taiwan’s fourth ranking in foreign exchange reserve possession, behind China, Japan and Russia.

Domestic gas prices to drop

Domestic gasoline prices will fall by NT$0.2 per liter and diesel prices will fall by NT$0.3 per liter effective today, state-owned oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) and its private rival, Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化), announced yesterday.

After the adjustment, CPC’s price for a liter of 98-octane unleaded gasoline will be NT$26.4, the company said.

The firm’s 95-octane unleaded gasoline will cost NT$24.9 a liter, 92-octane unleaded gasoline will cost NT$24.2 and diesel will be priced at NT$21.4.

UMC signs agreement with LSI

United Microelectronics Co (UMC, 聯電), the world’s second-largest contract chipmaker, said yesterday it had signed a cross-license agreement with LSI Corp to settle the long-term patent disputes between the two.

LSI is a Milpitas, California-based chip and storage designer.

The companies agreed to extensively cross-license patents by Dec. 31, 2012, a UMC statement filed to the Taiwan Stock Exchange said.

CSBC to distribute dividends

State-run CSBC Corp, Taiwan (CSBC, 台灣國際造船) will distribute a NT$1.1 dividend per share that includes NT$1 in cash and NT$0.1 (or 1 percent) in stock.

The dividend payout will be subject to shareholders’ approval at the annual company general meeting scheduled on June 23, CSBC said in a stock exchange filing yesterday.

CSBC said it also planned to raise NT$66.61 million by issuing 6.66 million new shares from retained earnings for the stock dividend.

Cathay posts US$18.2m profit

Cathay Financial Holdings Co (國泰金控) said its banking unit posted a pretax profit of NT$606 million (US$18.2 million) last month.

Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行) had pretax profit of NT$1.63 billion for the first three months of the year, Taiwan’s largest listed financial-services company said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

The Taipei-based company didn’t provide comparative figures from a year ago.

Local currency posts gains

The New Taiwan dollar completed its fifth weekly gain, the longest winning streak in a year, after stocks advanced and world leaders agreed on measures to revive the world economy.

The NT dollar rose 1.2 percent this week to NT$33.38 versus the US currency as of the 4pm closing time, Taipei Forex Inc said. It climbed 0.6 percent yesterday.

“Risk appetite, the stocks rally, and the positive news from the G20 summit should all be supportive to regional currencies,” said David Cohen, director of Asia economic forecasting at Action Economics in Singapore. “The central bank could probably tolerate the gains a bit longer, as long as global demand is picking up, which is good news for exports.”

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