Fri, Dec 07, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Premier denies ordering MOF to raise stock prices

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) yesterday clarified media reports alleging he had ordered the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to artificially boost stock prices on Nov. 23, which led to a recent rise in the TAIEX for 10 straight sessions.

Chen told Cabinet members at the weekly Cabinet meeting that the report was groundless, according to Executive Yuan spokesperson Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文).

The latest issue of the Chinese-language Business Weekly reported yesterday that in a telephone conversation on Nov. 23, Chen had ordered Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) to use government funds to buy shares to influence stock prices.

Citing unnamed sources among administrators commissioned by the ministry to manage four major funds — Labor Insurance, Labor Pension, Public Service Pension and Postal Savings, the magazine said that they received text messages from the ministry at 8:30am that morning telling them to buy NT$500 million (US$17.19 million) worth of shares.

Cheng told the press conference that Chen had “sternly” clarified the magazine report.

According to Cheng, Chen said the only thing he did regarding the stock market was to instruct Minister Without Portfolio Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) to come up with a policy in one month’s time to rejuvenate the sluggish stock market.

Chen told the Cabinet meeting that he set forth three principles for policy on propping up the stock market — draw up reasonable game rules, create a friendly investment climate and establish an efficient market — rather than to manipulate stock prices, because he “has been a person respectful of market mechanism,” Cheng said.

The spokesperson also quoted Chen as saying that he was cautiously optimistic about the nation’s economic outlook.

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