Thu, Dec 12, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Indirect Chinese investment in cable service operator confirmed by NCC

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A National Communications Commission (NCC) investigation has confirmed that Taiwan Broadband Communications (TBC, 台灣寬頻) indirectly received funding from China through Asia Pay Television Trust (APTT), which was created by its major shareholder, but the amount accounted for less than 1 percent of the issued trust certificates.

APTT is owned by Macquarie Group, TBC’s largest shareholder.

Lawmakers on Monday asked the commission to investigate if the Singapore-listed trust fund had accepted Chinese investment and report back to them in two days.

The request followed a report in the Chinese-language China Times on Monday that APTT had received funds from Chinese investors.

Commission spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said the report was delivered to the Legislative Yuan yesterday morning, but he refused to reveal the results.

“The investigation was conducted at the request of the legislators, so we leave it to them to disclose the results,” Yu said. “If you wrote a letter to someone, would it be appropriate for you to tell a third party what the letter was about before the recipient read it?”

A copy of the report obtained by the Taipei Times from a source at the legislature showed 37 units of APTT were owned by investors who might be from China, although they accounted for about 0.06 percent of the trust certificates.

Based on the report, APTT told the investors to sell the units based on the trust deed. Should the investors fail to sell the units within a set time, the trust fund manager can force a sale.

Yu said that cable service operator TBC would not be fined if the trust fund was found to have accepted Chinese investment.

“The trust deed clearly states what the manager would do if they found Chinese had invested in the trust fund,” Yu said. “The commission was aware of the deed, and that was why we approved of the TBC’s change of overseas investment last week. Nothing that has happened was a surprise to us.”

Yu said the NCC would take action if Macquarie fails to follows the deed, and could ask it to withdraw its investment if necessary.

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