Thu, Apr 16, 2009 - Page 11 News List

[BUSINESS BRIEFS]

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

TWSE plans new system

Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp (TWSE, 台灣證交所) is planning an off-market trading system for shares traded on the bourse, the Dow Jones Newswire reported yesterday, citing Lawrence Shan (單高年), senior vice president at the exchange’s corporate planning and communications department.

The system would allow listed shares to be traded over the counter. At the moment, after-hours trading is confined mainly to block trades.

Shan said the trading mechanism would require a legislative amendment before it can be implemented, and the plan is still at a very early stage.

Meanwhile, TWSE president Samuel Hsu (許仁壽) said there was no plan to remove the daily equity-trading limit “soon” on concern it may cause volatility in the market.

“We will evaluate removing the trading limit when the economy recovers,” Hsu said in an interview with the Bloomberg. “We want investors to regain confidence first.”

LCD giant invests in LEDs

AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), Taiwan’s largest maker of liquid-crystal displays (LCDs), said it paid NT$384 million (US$11 million) for a stake in Lighthouse Technology Inc.

The stock was bought through a private placement, and AU Optronics owns 35 percent of the maker of light-emitting diodes (LED) after the transaction, the Hsinchu-based company said in an exchange filing yesterday.

Hong Kong ties boosted

Taiwan and Hong Kong agreed to strengthen economic and trade ties, stepping toward regional cooperation in southern China after the relations across the Taiwan Strait improved last year.

“Today’s talks are a breakthrough and a good beginning is already half of the success,” Hong Kong Finance Secretary John Tsang (曾俊華) said yesterday at a Hong Kong-Taiwan inter-city forum, the first between governments of the two sides held in the city.

Taiwan, Hong Kong and Guangdong and Fujian provinces should form a regional economic alliance to improve their competitiveness, Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) said on Tuesday after meeting in Hong Kong with Stephen Lam (林瑞麟), the city’s secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs.

Cathay United to buy debt

Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行), a subsidiary under Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), plans to buy back part of its US$500 million in overseas subordinated debts, issued in 2005 with a 5.5 percent interest rate, before May 12, the bank’s exchange filing on Tuesday.

The bank will put down no more than US$125 million to redeem the 15-year debts ahead of its 2020 maturity date with a likely acquiring price of between US$820 and US$920 for every US$1,000 in debt, its exchange filing said.

The bank said that it would organize a fair Dutch auction to negotiate the acquiring price.

A Dutch auction is a type of auction were the auctioneer begins with a high asking price, which is lowered until participants are willing to accept the auctioneer’s price, or a predetermined reserve price (the seller’s minimum acceptable price) is reached.

New Office coming next year

Microsoft Corp’s next version of its Office desktop programs will reach consumers next year, though not likely in conjunction with the Windows 7 operating system.

Microsoft is set to announce today that Office 2010 will be finished and ready to send to manufacturers in the first half of next year.

From there, it can take six weeks to four months or more for the programs to reach PC users, said Chris Capossela, a senior vice president in the Microsoft group that makes Office.

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