Fri, Dec 16, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Committee hints at KMT BCC ruling

FOLLOW THE MONEYThe corporation was investigated during former president Chen Shiu-bian’s administration and there was no evidence of illegal dealings, the KMT said

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The Broadcasting Corp of China building on Songjiang Road in Taipei’s Zhongshan District is pictured on Saturday last week.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) made NT$7.6 billion (US$238.07 million) by selling the Broadcasting Corp of China (BCC, 中廣), the nation’s largest radio operator, but the party could be asked to return the proceeds to the state, the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee said yesterday.

The committee combed through a complex transaction history of the BCC spanning more than a decade involving transfer of equity and capital reduction and found that the KMT made about NT$7.6 billion by selling the radio operator, committee spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang (施錦芳) said.

The BCC, founded in 1928 as a broadcasting unit within the KMT, took over Japanese broadcasting facilities and equipment after World War II, and the the KMT held the BCC via party-owned Hua Hsia Investment Holding Co (華夏投資公司).

In 2005, the KMT transferred the equity of Hua Hsia Investment to other two party-owned companies — Central Investment Co (中央投資公司) and Kuanghua Securities Investment and Trust Co (光華證券投信) — and received NT$3.82 billion.

In 2006, Hua Hsia Investment sold the BCC, including its frequencies and buildings, to BCC chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) and four radio operators for NT$5.7 billion. However, Jaw and other buyers paid only NT$1 billion to acquire the BCC’s broadcasting facilities, but not its buildings.

The BCC later transferred its real-estate holdings — worth about NT$5.6 billion — to Kuanghua Co amid lawsuits launched by the government against the company over controversial properties the BCC appropriated from the Japanese.

Central Investment Co later acquired Kuanghua Co and transferred the BCC real-estate holdings to Hsinyutai Co (欣裕台股份有限公司, a spin-off of Central Investment Co.

In 2012, Kuanghua reduced its capital by NT$800 million and redistributed the money to Hsinyutai, which in turn transferred the money to its sole shareholder, the KMT.

Hsinyutai in 2013 reduced its capital by NT$2 billion and redistributed the money to the KMT.

Last year, Hsinyutai sold its holdings in Kuanghua to another company, Hsinkuanghua Co (欣光華), for NT$3 billion, which later reduced its capital by NT$2.9 billion and redistributed it the KMT.

“In the preparatory hearing on Friday [today], we have to understand whether the BCC and Central Motion Picture Corp (CMPC, 中央電影公司) were directly controlled by the KMT to determine whether they were KMT-affiliated organizations,” Shih said.

KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Hu Wen-chi (胡文琦) said all the data revealed by Shih were investigated by prosecutors during former president Chen Shiu-bian’s (陳水扁) administration and no evidence of illegal activity between the BCC and the KMT was found.

The BCC has already returned controversial properties to the government, including those in Changhua and Hualien counties, as well as New Taipei City’s Banciao (板橋) and Bali (八里) districts, Hu said.

He called on the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee to investigate former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), former KMT treasurer Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), who Hu said were involved in the BCC’s financial management and investments, but were not included in the investigations.

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