Sat, Sep 27, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Taiwan Business Briefs

Staff writer, with agencies

NT dollar down again

The New Taiwan dollar declined this week for a fourth week in the longest downward streak since January, as demand for the greenback climbed after the US expanded its bombing of Islamic State militants and a surge in the US’ new home sales fueled expectations the US Federal Reserve would raise interest rates next year.

The NT dollar weakened 0.2 percent this week to NT$30.312 against its US counterpart and was little changed from Thursday, according to Taipei Forex Inc data.

“The US dollar is too strong and the Taiwan dollar is following emerging-market currencies downward,” said Samson Tu (涂韶鈺), a Taipei-based fund manager at Uni-President Assets Management Corp (統一投信). “Global funds are going back to the US for refuge because of geopolitical risks.”

M2 supply up this year

Taiwan’s M2 money supply, the broadest measure of money flowing through the banking system, rose 5.64 percent last month from a year earlier, slightly higher than July’s 5.63 percent rise, the central bank said on Thursday, citing higher growth in bank loans and investments.

The M1B monetary aggregate rose 7.56 percent year-on-year last month, compared with July’s 7.65 percent annual increase, mainly affected by slower growth in passbook savings deposits by individuals, the bank said in a statement.

M1B refers to net currency, checking accounts and passbook deposits of companies and individuals, plus the passbook savings deposits of individuals. M2 refers to M1B plus time deposits, negotiable certificates of deposit, foreign currency deposits and mutual funds.

For the first eight months of this year, the average annual growth rates of M1B and M2 were 8.41 percent and 5.83 percent respectively, the bank said.

Investment sought for projects

The Ministry of Finance on Thursday held a meeting to attract private investments in infrastructure, as part of an effort to cut government expenditure and make up for a financial shortfall.

The ministry sought more than NT$130 billion (US$4.28 billion) in investments in 71 projects around the nation, including urban renewal initiatives in Taipei and Greater Kaohsiung, as well as developments for a business district near the Kaohsiung rapid transit system’s Aozihdi Station in Gushan District (鼓山) and a cluster of aviation-related businesses near Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport).

Other initiatives were build-operate-transfer projects for an international conference hall for business and high-tech professionals in Hsinchu and a yacht center near Anping Fishing Harbor in Greater Tainan.

The ministry has solicited NT$90.4 billion in investments for 84 public infrastructure projects from the private sector this year.

GDP forecast revised up

The Asian Development Bank on Thursday raised its forecast for the nation’s GDP growth for the year to 3.4 percent, citing strengthening domestic and external demand.

The new forecast is up from the bank’s previous forecast in April of 2.7 percent growth for the year. The bank also raised the nation’s GDP growth forecast next year to 3.3 percent, up from 3.2 percent in the previous report.

Growth decelerated in the first half of this year in all the economies of East Asia except Taiwan, where both domestic and external demand improved, thanks to increased travel and retail sales as well as higher private sector investment, according to the bank’s Asian Development Outlook 2014 Update.

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