Thu, Feb 05, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Central Investment to sue Yuanta’s Ma

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Central Investment Co (中央投資公司) said yesterday it would sue Yuanta Securities Finance (元大證金) chief operating officer Michael Ma (馬維辰) for alleging that former chairman of the company, Chang Che-chen (張哲琛), had asked for bribes during negotiations for the purchase of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-owned enterprise.

The holding company was the KMT’s largest asset following the sales of five other assets — its Policy Research and Development Department, three media outlets and its former headquarters — when President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was party chairman.

Next Magazine reported that Michael Ma had acknowledged to prosecutors that Chang, who has served as head of the party’s administrative and management department, asked for a NT$2 billion (US$59 million) commission fee from the NT$16 billion purchase plan of the company’s shareholdings.

Wang Hai-ching (汪海清), general manager of Central Investment Co, said yesterday that the allegations had damaged the reputation of both the company and Chang, and said it would file a lawsuit against Michael Ma.

Lin Yong-ruei (林永瑞), head of the KMT’s administration and management department, said the sale of the enterprise was divided between shareholdings and real estate, adding that the KMT had held a public bidding for both since December.

Four companies had expressed interest, but none won because all were willing to purchase both shareholdings and real estate.

KMT estimates show that the net worth of the company was about NT$20 billion. Lin said the party would hold a second round of public bidding later this year. KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) has vowed to sell the holding company.

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