Tue, Jul 21, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Yeh obtains loans for complex

AMBITIOUS PLANS The Inventec co-founder is also entering final talks with local hot-spring hotel Great Roots Forestry Spa Resort for an equity investment

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Inventec Corp (英業達) co-founder Yeh Kuo-yi (葉國一) yesterday obtained a joint syndicated loan of NT$3.7 billion (US$112.8 million) with local property developer Kuo Yang Construction Co (國揚實業) to build an upscale housing complex in southern Taiwan.

The loan will be used to purchase a piece of land in downtown Kaohsiung, on which Yeh and Kuo Yang plan to build luxury housing, major lender Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行) said in a statement released yesterday.

The syndicated loan was oversubscribed by two times as lenders were bullish on the growth potential of the Kaohsiung property market and were confident about Yeh’s investment plan, Land Bank of Taiwan said.

Yeh could not be reached for comment on the real estate investment plan. He is a board member of Inventec, the nation’s No. 4 contract notebook computer maker.

In addition to his interest in housing, Yeh is entering final talks with local hot-spring hotel Great Roots Forestry Spa Resort (大板山根森林溫泉度假村) for an equity investment.

The hotel is located in Sansia Township (三峽), Taipei County.

“As a close friend of the company’s chairman, Yeh has helped us solve the financial difficulty early this year and he seems to be interested in investing in the hotel,” Lily Hsiao (蕭莉莉), an official at the hotel’s public relation department, said by phone.

“We are in talks about possible investment by Yeh. The results may come out soon, hopefully,” Hsiao said.

Early this year, Great Roots bounced NT$10 million worth of checks as consumers cut travel spending amid the economic slump.

“I believe these investments are part of Yeh’s personal investment projects rather than Inventec’s plan to diversify from its core notebook manufacturing business,” said Sean Hsiao (蕭文良), an analyst with Fubon Securities Investment Services Co (富邦投顧), adding that Yeh has a deep pocket for such investments.

For PC makers, it would make more sense to invest in component makers, or to develop new products to improve cost structure and safeguard margins, Hsiao said.

Inventec’s operating margin fell to 3 percent in the first three months of the year, from 5 percent, according to a company financial statement filed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on May 18.

Shares of Inventec rose 0.53 percent to NT$19 yesterday, underperforming the benchmark TAIEX, which gained 1.28 percent.

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