CEPD to extend loan program
The Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said yesterday it will extend a loan program intended to help medium and large-sized, as well as unlisted, companies.
The council said in a statement that the program, originally due to expire at the end of this year, will remain valid until the end of next year.
Under the program, companies may apply for up to NT$100 million (US$3 million) in operational fund aid at interest rates of 3.26 percent or 3.29 percent.
The council encouraged companies to file applications, saying some NT$383 million remains available after approving 93 applications thus far.
First Financial eyes acquisition
State-run First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) is interested in acquiring Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽), local media said yesterday.
First Financial is likely to team up with Aviva Plc, each of which will allocate NT$30 billion (US$913 million) to acquire Nan Shan, a local subsidiary of the financially troubled American International Group Inc (AIG), for NT$60 billion, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported, citing anonymous sources.
First Financial executives yesterday flew to Singapore to meet Aviva counterparts to discuss the acquisition, the report said.
Everlight leads gains
Everlight Electronics Co (億光電子) led gains among Taiwanese light-emitting diode companies after a report said China may invest in the nation’s LED factories.
Everlight Electronics, Taiwan’s second-largest LED maker, gained 3.5 percent to NT$85.90 in Taipei trading, the highest since June 6, while Epistar Corp (晶元光電) advanced 3 percent to NT$85. Opto Tech Corp (光磊科技) climbed 2.3 percent to NT$27.25 against the benchmark’s 1.8 percent jump.
The China Electronic Chamber of Commerce (中國電子商會) may seek to invest in Taiwan’s light-emitting diode factories, the Economic Daily News reported, without saying where it got its information.
The chamber will send a delegation to Taiwan today, the Chinese language newspaper said, citing chamber vice president Wang Ning (王寧). The chamber may also buy Taiwan LED-related products, the report said.
Gome rises for second day
Gome Electrical Appliances Holdings Ltd (國美電器), the Chinese retailer whose billionaire founder is under police investigation, rose for a second day in Hong Kong trading on fundraising plans that include an investment by Bain Capital LLC.
Gome rose 4 percent to HK$1.96 at the 12.30pm trading break in Hong Kong, boosting its gain since Tuesday, when it ended a seven-month suspension, to 75 percent. The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 1.3 percent.
China’s second-biggest electronics retailer had dropped 77 percent last year before being halted in November when main shareholder Huang Guangyu (黃光裕) was detained for “economic crimes.”
Gome will sell 1.59 million yuan (US$233 million) of convertible bonds to a Bain affiliate and HK$1.66 billion (US$214 million) in shares to stockholders, reassuring investors the company retains financial support.
“The worst times are over for Gome,” Elsa Zhang (張薇), a Shenzhen-based consumer analyst at First Shanghai Securities Ltd (第一上海證券), said yesterday. “The company was given a shot in the arm with the refinancing and the resumption of trading improves transparency of the company among investors.”
NT dollar gains
The New Taiwan dollar yesterday gained NT$0.063 to close at NT$32.862 against the US dollar on turnover of US$862 million.