Sun, Dec 26, 2010 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

Staff writer, with agencies

BANKING

TCB, BOC to sign MOU

Taiwan Cooperative Bank (TCB, 合作金庫銀行) said on Friday it would sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bank of China (BOC, 中國銀行) on Tuesday on cooperation between the two banks. Under the MOU, the two banks will work together in providing several financial services, including foreign exchange, trade financing, syndicated loans, interbank lending and loans for small and medium enterprises, the bank said. It also indicated that the two partners would soon launch personnel exchanges to develop better mutual understanding. The Taiwanese bank is also scheduled to open a Chinese branch in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, on Wednesday. The branch is targeted at Taiwanese companies operating in China.

FINANCE

SEC greenlights new rules

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved new accounting rules designed to help investors assess fraud risks and material changes in a public company’s financial condition. The changes are “designed to benefit investors by establishing requirements that enhance the effectiveness of the auditor’s assessment of and response to the risks of material misstatement in an audit,” the regulator said yesterday in a statement. Changes include more emphasis on fraud risks, disclosures, multilocation audit requirements and a new concept of materiality, the SEC said as it approved the rules, proposed in September by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. The risk standards replace rules written 20 to 30 years ago, it said.

TAXATION

Colombia mulls tax extension

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said his government is considering extending for one year and broadening a tax on high-income earners to help pay for the damage caused by the worst rains in 30 years. The tax, which currently is levied on people with assets of more than 3 billion pesos (US$1.5 million), may be extended to those with more than 1.5 billion pesos, Santos said in an interview with RCN Radio. The tax was scheduled to expire in 2014. The government is not considering raising the value-added tax, Santos said. Colombia on Thursday lowered its growth estimate for this year to 4.5 percent from 5 percent.

BANKING

Credit Suisse sells portfolio

Credit Suisse is selling a US$2.8 billion property portfolio in one of the largest bank sales of distressed loans since the 2008 financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The Swiss banking giant is to sell the portfolio for US$1.2 billion to Apollo Management LP, the newspaper reported. The loans were for apartment buildings in Germany and hotels in a number of European countries in areas hard hit by the economic crisis, it said citing sources familiar with the sale.

BANKING

US investigates Swiss banks

The US Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation into small Swiss regional banks which may have helped Americans evade taxes, the New York Times reported, citing two people briefed on the matter. The investigation will also look at Wall Street banks that provide banking services to these regional banks, known as cantonal banks, the paper said in an article published on Thursday. The Wall Street banks might have been used by the regional banks to pool client money so individual clients could not be identified by US authorities, the paper said.

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