Thu, Dec 22, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Life insurance firms to invest in public infrastructure

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

The government yesterday encouraged life insurance companies to inject funds into public infrastructure to help keep the country’s economy on track.

Council for Economic Planning and Development Vice Chairman Hu Chung-ying (胡仲英) told a press conference yesterday that the government had “made progress” in devising ways for life insurance companies to circumvent statutory restrictions and thereby include public infrastructure in their investment portfolio.

Most life insurance companies have shown an interest in directing funding toward infrastructure projects, but are prohibited from doing so by restrictions relating to joint liabilities and profits related to investments covered by the Insurance Act (保險法), Hu said.

Without going into detail, Hu said that the government would now allow life insurance companies to invest in certain public infrastructure projects on a case-by-case basis, following specific regulations without being subject to the act, Hu said.

Hu made the remarks following a weekly task force meeting led by Acting Premier Sean Chen (陳?).

Another issue discussed at the meeting was how to address problems facing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the face of a global economic downturn, particularly in terms of providing financing and credit guarantees.

The Financial Supervisory Commission would encourage general managers at local banks to increase the weight of loans to SMEs at a meeting scheduled for Monday, while the Ministry of Economic Affairs would propose a package to help such firms at next week’s meeting, Hu said.

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