Rescuers yesterday struggled to reach Taishin Financial Holdings Co (台新金控) president Lin Keh-hsiao (林克孝) after he fell off a cliff during a hiking trip in Yilan County on Wednesday, the county’s fire and rescue authorities said.
Lin was climbing Shusuei Mountain (束穗山) in Nanao Township (南澳) with two friends when he fell off a steep section of the mountain at about 9pm, according to the Yilan County Fire Bureau.
A helicopter from the National Airborne Service Corps (NASC) was dispatched to the site yesterday morning, but could not reach Lin due to the steepness of the site, NASC said.
Search and rescue crews had to climb down the cliff on foot, the NASC said.
The Fire Bureau said no progress had been made in the rescue attempt so far and there had been no contact with the rescuers since about 2:40pm. The bureau attributed the difficulty in communications to the special geological conditions in the area.
Taishin Financial deputy spokesman Bingo Lee (李並光) declined to confirm a report by Taipei-based Broadcasting Corp of China (BCC, 中廣) that Lin had been located and appeared lifeless.
“We don’t want to give up any hope and will respect the wish of the Lin family to wait for authorities’ confirmation,” Lee said by telephone.
There was no response from Taishin Financial chairman Thomas Wu (吳東亮), who is currently on an overseas business trip.
Lin, 52, has been president of Taishin Financial since Jan. 26, 2007, and doubles as its chief economist. He joined the group after earning a doctorate in economics from the University of Washington in 1990.
Lin served as vice chairman and then president of the former Taiwan Securities (台証證券) before being promoted to the helm of Taishin Financial.
He was scheduled to preside over the financial holding company’s quarterly conference with investors on Tuesday to discuss its financial performance in the first half of the year.
The group reported NT$780 million (US$26.84 million) in net income last month, a 22 percent drop from one month earlier, the company said in a statement last week.
Cumulative net profits reached NT$6.54 billion as of last month, translating into earnings of NT$0.9 per share, the statement said.
Shares of Taishin Financial ended down 0.73 percent to NT$13.65 yesterday, deeper than the TAIEX’s 0.22 percent dip and the financial sub-index’s 0.56 fall.