Fri, Jul 10, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Central government reviewing Formosa fund request: Yiin

By Chinmei Sung  /  BLOOMBERG, WITH STAFF WRITER

The government said it would review a fund request from Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團) but that it would not grant more than NT$20 billion (US$606 million).

“We will ask the National Development Fund (國發基金) to consider [the group’s] request,” Minister of Economic Affairs Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) said yesterday. “The government will assist all industries on an equal basis.”

Group members Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) and Inotera Memories Inc (華亞科技) asked the government for between NT$20 billion and NT$30 billion in funds, the Chinese-language United Evening News reported yesterday.

The report, citing Inotera president Charles Kau (高啟全), said the government fund would help subsidize chip research and production at Nanya and Inotera, as well as help strengthen the local dynamic random access memory (DRAM) sector’s technology development in the long term.

Nanya Technology chairman Wu Chia-chau (吳嘉昭) said in April the government should extend equal treatment to FPG member companies involved in the DRAM business if it wanted to invest in another chip ventures.

The government said in April it planned to set up Taiwan Memory Co (TMC, 台灣記憶體公司) by forming a technological partnership with Japan’s Elpida Memory Inc to acquire key technologies and intellectual property rights.

Kau said Taiwan’s key advantage in the DRAM industry was its 12-inch wafers, urging the government to give financial support.

Kau said FPG would stay independent and would not allow its subsidiaries to merge with TMC, the newspaper said.

However, Yiin said: “TMC hasn’t been formed yet and the government isn’t going to invest more than NT$20 billion in TMC, so Formosa Plastics Group is unlikely to get NT$20 billion or NT$30 billion” as reported.

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