Wed, May 03, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Presidential Office defends first family's stock dealings

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Presidential Office yesterday said that the first family would donate a total of NT$4 million (US$125,300) to eight charities and disadvantaged groups, hoping to end weeks of controversy caused by the first lady's investments.

Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said that half of the NT$4 million are profits from the first family's trust fund investments, and the other half is a donation.

Cho made the remark yesterday afternoon when making public the details of the profits first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) had made from selling her stocks and mutual fund holdings. The Presidential Office has said that the first family will donate the profits they made through the stocks and mutual funds to charities and disadvantaged groups.

The first family has been under fire for alleged improprieties with their investments after putting its property in trust in 2004. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) has claimed that nearly NT$30 million of the profit Wu made on the stock market had "vanished" after checking a Control Yuan report disclosing the assets of public officials.

Cho yesterday said that mutual funds are not stocks, but rather another form of trust fund. He added that a measure decreed by the Executive Yuan regulating civil servants' compulsory trust of their property does not include mutual funds.

While some have said that Wu had continued to trade stocks after putting her properties into trust.

Cho said that the first family imposes higher moral standards by choosing the kind of trust fund that they can only sell stocks, not buy more.

Moreover, Cho said, the bank the first family was using in 2004 had not obtained a license to control trust funds on behalf of their customers.

The first family's accountant, Wu Pei-jen (吳佩珍), said that since 2004, the first family had sold stocks three times and purchased shares in two mutual funds: Fubon REIT No.1 and Aegis.

Although the first family made some NT$2.7 million in gains from Fubon and NT$475,000 from stock investments, it lost about NT$589,000 on Aegis, Wu said.

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