China Steel Corp (中鋼) chairman Tsou Juo-chi (鄒若齊) yesterday admitted to having met with Ti Yung Co (地勇選礦公司) owner Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥), but denied any involvement in a scandal centered around former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yih-shih (林益世).
This was the first time Tsou spoke to the media since the bribery case broke. Tsou said he had not been under any pressure to accept bribes.
Lin had recently admitted to taking US$63 million (US$2.1 million) in bribes from Ti Yung owner Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥) for facilitating a slag treatment contract between Chen’s company and a China Steel subsidiary.
In a statement on Thursday, Labor Union of China Steel Co chairman Wei Chao-chin (魏肇津) said that the Lin case has severely damaged the good reputation the corporation has enjoyed for the past four decades.
Tsou should shoulder the responsibility and volunteer to step down, Wei said.
Commenting on his meeting with Chen, Tsou said that he had met with the businessman twice, “once when I was returning to China Steel and a friend of mine introduced Chen as his friend, and the second time was when former legislator Lin introduced him to me saying that he needs help for his constituents.”
Tsou said he had not accepted any requests from Chen, nor did he feel any pressure from Lin to accept any such requests.
“I have confidence in the employees working at the corporation, and I hope that the judiciary process would give us a quick result and absolve the employees of this burden,” Tsou said.
Meanwhile, Grand Fortune Securities Co Ltd (福邦證券) is warning investors to temporarily avoid overweight stocks such as China Steel’s as foreign investors are becoming even more active in overselling such stocks.
Because of the Lin case, Chinese Steel stocks fluctuated slightly along the flat line after the stock markets opened in the morning.
Grand Fortune also said that the depreciation of major currencies across Asia, including the New Taiwan dollar, the Korean won and the Singaporean dollar, and the South Korean central bank’s unexpected cut on key interest rates show that the knock-on effects of the eurozone financial crisis are starting to impact the finances of the emerging Asian region.