Thu, Mar 18, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Kaohsiung MRT operator rejects bankruptcy claims

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC) yesterday rebutted media reports that it would declare bankruptcy in June.

At a press conference in Kaohsiung, KRTC president Liu San-chi (劉三錡) dismissed a report in this week’s issue of the Chinese-language Next Magazine that said Liu would announce during its annual shareholders’ meeting in June that the company was bankrupt.

Next said KRTC had debts of more than NT$5 billion (US$157.6 million), or more than half of its capital of NT$10 billion

The report said Liu would ask the city government to take over the company at a cost of NT$25.5 billion, as stated in the city government’s build-operate-transfer contract with KRTC.

Dismissing the report, Liu said its assets of NT$42.8 billion continued to outweigh its liabilities, at NT$37.7 billion.

He said he would only report at the shareholders’ meeting that KRTC’s deficit had exceeded half of the company’s capital as required by law, Liu said.

On hearing about the report, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) immediately voiced her concerns to Chang Chia-chu (張家祝), chairman of China Steel Co — KRTC’s biggest shareholder, the city government said.

The chairman told the mayor that the company would continue its operations and would not go bankrupt, the city government said.

KRTC mass rapid transit (MRT) system commenced operations two years ago, but the company is still in the red because of low passenger volume.

Liu blamed the city’s Bureau of Mass Rapid Transit for the story, saying someone from the bureau was feeding the magazine wrong information in a bid to have him replaced.

Bureau of Mass Rapid Transit Director-General Chen Kai-ling (陳凱凌) dismissed the allegations.

In other news, the city government yesterday began to invite proposals from international architects for the nation’s first oceanic culture and pop music center.

The center will be built on Kaohsiung Harbor piers 11 to 15.

Yang Ming-chou (楊明州), deputy director-general of the city’s Public Works Bureau, told a press conference in Taipei that the city hoped to build an international landmark.

The total budget for the 11.89-hectare project is set at NT$4.3 billion and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015, Yang said.

The project will include an indoor hall with at least 3,500 seats and another outdoor venue with 12,000 seats, Yang said.

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