Minister of Transportation and Communications Hochen Tan (賀陳旦) yesterday said the ministry is willing to consider letting Chunghwa Post go public.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) made the proposal at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Transportation Committee yesterday as the committee prepared to review the postal company’s budget.
State-run Chunghwa Post is the nation’s “goose with the golden eggs,” as it generates a profit each year, even though the company’s net profit has shown yearly declines, Chen said.
“Nevertheless, many people would rather have a savings account at the post office than at a bank, because they find it to be a trustworthy financial institution,” Chen said.
Asking whether Chunghwa Post planned to launch an initial public offering (IPO), Chen suggested that the company sell up to 30 percent of its shares to the public so that Taiwanese could share in the company’s profits and help oversee its operations.
When Chunghwa Post chairman Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) denied any IPO plans, Chen asked Hochen to take the stand and comment on the possibility.
“I admire and like the legislator’s proposal [of allowing the public to own shares in Chunghwa Post]. I think the legislator proposes this idea because there have been examples of this in other countries,” Hochen said. “We could consider heading in the same direction.”
Chen also asked why the company’s net profit has shown gradual declines each year when it generates about NT$280 billion (US$9.6 billion) in annual revenue.
The company must follow new international financial reporting standards, which bars it from listing dividends as income on its balance sheet, Chunghwa Post president S.J. Chen said.
On the balance sheet, the company’s net profit might appear to be decreasing, but its net profit has exceeded NT$10 billion annually, he said.
Chen said he was concerned about the huge financial burden that the company would need to bear if the government raises the interest rate, with the amount of postal savings funds and insurance premium revenue totaling NT$6.8 trillion.
The company would need to prepare for any adverse effect caused by potential interest rate hikes, he said.
The volume of mail handled annually by the post office dropped 5.94 percent last year to about 2.38 billion pieces from a year earlier, due to the growth of electronic communications and social media, as well as the paperless policy enforced by government departments, Chunghwa Post statistics showed.
The company’s revenue reached NT$328.92 billion last year, with net profit of NT$10.61 billion, it said, adding that it expects NT$286.35 billion in revenue this year, down 0.01 percent from last year, with net profit of about NT$8.58 billion.
The company expects the volume of mail handled this year to decrease 24.94 percent, due to the loss of some mass distribution clients following last year’s increase in postage fees.
Revenue from sales to stamp collectors is also expected to drop 14.5 percent to NT$590 million this year, it said.
However, the company forecasts double-digit percentage growth in its small package delivery business this year, thanks to booming electronics commerce, it said, adding that the revenue is expected to partially offset the loss in the mail business.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
MEDICINAL HERB: The FRIL protein extracted from hyacinth beans helped laboratory mice survive H1N1 infection and effectively neutralized the coronavirus A protein isolated from hyacinth beans, a medicinal herb known for centuries, has been found to restrict the activities of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses in laboratory experiments, a team of Academia Sinica researchers said yesterday. The beans’ curative effect is documented in the 16th-century Chinese medicine classic Compendium of Materia Medica (本草綱目) and they are also a food source in some countries, the Genomics Research Center’s Chemical Biology Division Director Alex Ma (馬徹) told a news conference in Taipei. Center senior research specialist Jan Jia-tsrong (詹家琮) experimented with up to 500 medicinal herbs to see if they could restrict influenza viruses and