Mon, Oct 10, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Taisugar says it will respect its shareholders’ views

Staff Writer, with CNA

State-owned Taiwan Sugar Co (Taisugar, 台糖) said on Friday that it would respect the views of its private shareholders as it pushes for the first capital reduction in the company’s 65-year history.

“Taisugar will respect private investors even though they only hold 3.49 percent of the company’s shares,” Taisugar vice president Chiang Ming-hung (江銘宏) said on the sidelines of an event to mark the company’s 65th anniversary.

Chiang was responding to reports that the company’s private shareholders are angry about a planned NT$21.9 billion (US$718.34 million) reduction of the company’s NT$78 billion in paid-in capital.

“Since we have no major investment projects [in the pipeline], we have decided to reduce our capital,” he said.

The plan calls for a 28 percent cut in capital based on the NT$10 face value of each share, meaning only 0.72 shares will be left for each share held.

Chiang acknowledged that private shareholders oppose the move and have petitioned the Presidential Office, the Executive Yuan and the Legislative Yuan to stop it.

Taisugar’s planned capital reduction has drawn partisan debate. Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said on Monday last week at a legislative hearing that the capital reduction will help replenish the national coffers.

Opposition party legislators have questioned the strategy of using state-owned enterprises as cash cows to deal with national financial woes. Ruling party legislators suggested that the ministry solve its financial issues by selling or leasing Taisugar’s land, releasing its shares or through privatization.

Taisugar is the nation’s biggest landowner with 50,885 hectares of land worth NT$740 billion.

Shih responded, however, that the ministry has no intention to allow Taisugar’s farmland to be allocated to other uses, noting that the land is one of the nation’s major assets. The ministry also is not interested in having Taisugar go private, Shih said.

This story has been viewed 2788 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top