Sun, Mar 10, 2002 - Page 3 News List

KMT moves to sell off more shares of party-run businesses

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

KMT-run businesses have launched a fresh round of selling of their shares in a move that suggests their intent to move out of the stock market, data from the Securities and Futures Commis-sion indicates.

Despite the KMT's claim that the selling has been intended to decrease the ratio of liabilities in the businesses, analysts believe the KMT's hurried disposal of its assets is related to a DPP plan to push through a special law in this legislative session to empower the government to investigate and confiscate KMT assets it claims were unlawfully obtained.

The Central Investment Holding Company (中央投資公司) -- the largest investment company controlled by the KMT -- filed with the commission on Friday its intention to sell 18,600 Taiwan Styrene Monomer (台苯) shares, currently worth NT$600 million.

The sale is the largest of its kind in the past two years since the KMT lost the 2000 presidential election, ending its 50 years in power.

Share-selling filed by the KMT-controlled investment companies include Central Investment, Huahsia Investment Holding Company (華夏投資公司), the Kwanhua Investment Holding Company (光華投資公司) and the Chienhua Investment Holding Company (建華投資) has totaled NT$5 billion over a two-year period.

Up to NT$3.1 billion came from sales in 11 different cases during the period from after the presidential elections until the legislative elections of December last year, data from the commission shows.

The KMT has sped up its sell-off plans in the past three months since the legislative elections, with the KMT-run companies having filed notice of intended sales which would net over NT$1.9 billion.

According to Central Investment Chairman Chang Chun-paul (張鍾濮), the company may sell off its stock in Oriental Union Chemical (東聯) and CTCI Corporation (中鼎), while Chienhua Invesment-held stocks in the Grand Cathay Securities Corp (大華證券) -- currently worth a whopping NT$4 billion, may also be sold off.

In addition to investment in the stock market, the KMT also owns up to 1,633 pieces of land and buildings, an investigative report released by the Control Yuan shows.

The KMT has recently unveiled plans to dispose of this real estate try to calm controversy over the assets' ownership.

Possible measures to be taken by the KMT may include returning over 100 pieces of land and houses to their original owners or donating them to various charitable causes.

The KMT, which is by some accounts the wealthiest political party in the world, took over a large number of properties from the Japanese colonial government in 1945 that should have gone to the government, a Control Yuan report said last year.

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