Far Eastern grows 2.12%

VARIED INTERESTS: Diversified investment has been one of Far Eastern New Century’s key activities since it changed the firm’s name from Far Eastern Textile Co


Wed, Oct 14, 2009 - Page 11

The total business turnover of Far Eastern New Century (遠東新世紀) in the first three quarters of this year was NT$13.65 billion (US$423 million), a growth of 2.12 percent year-on-year, company chairman Douglas Hsu (徐旭東) said yesterday.

In addition, investment by the corporation in the cement, retail and telecommunication sectors in Taiwan and China is growing steadily, Hsu said at a provisional shareholders’ meeting.

Since changing its name from Far Eastern Textile Co (遠東紡織), the corporation has made diversified investment one of its three principal business activities, he said.

The corporation owns 244 affiliated companies, including nine listed companies in Taiwan and Hong Kong, with a combined value of NT$94.4 billion, up from NT$79.7 billion at the end of last year, Hsu said.

Regarding the subsidiary Asia Cement (亞泥), Hsu said its annual output in China had reached 20 million tonnes, but with China’s recent introduction of total quantity management and control, its factory expansion plan had hit a snag.

However, the cement company’s annual output could amount to 28 million tonnes in 2011, once it is operating at full capacity, he said.

In the retail sector, Far Eastern New Century has 43 operating outlets and six more under construction to be completed within two years, Hsu said. The six new retail operations will include department stores in China and Taiwan. The locations are Chengdu, Sichuan Province; Wukesong in Beijing and Wuxi in Jiangsu Province as well as Taichung, Hualien and a 50-story office building in Banciao (板橋), Taipei County, Hsu said.

Its affiliate Far Eastern ­International Bank (遠東商銀) has begun making profits since acquiring American International Group Inc’s (AIG) Taiwan credit card business earlier in the year and is planning to venture into the massive Chinese market once Taiwan signs a financial memorandum of understanding (MOU) on financial supervisory cooperation with China, Hsu said.

Adding that it has been more than a year since the global financial crisis began and that the worst of the economic recession may be over, Hsu expressed optimism about Taiwan’s economic outlook based on the stability of the country’s financial system, its abundant liquidity and record low interest rates.