South Korea’s financial regulator said yesterday it would start assessing the finances of savings banks to see whether they are healthy enough for government support or should be suspended.
The Financial Services Commission (FSC) said the investigation into 85 out of the 93 savings banks would start this month and run through next month.
Authorities have suspended eight savings banks this year for inadequate liquidity after soured real-estate project financing swelled the sector’s bad debt.
The debt is too small to threaten the overall banking and financial sector.
However, the suspensions have fueled anger among small depositors before parliamentary and presidential elections next year, especially after claims that wealthy depositors were tipped off in advance about the action.
The FSC said its probe would focus on capital adequacy ratios stipulated by the Bank for International Settlements standards.
Those savings banks with capital adequacy ratios above 5 percent would be eligible to receive state funds to bolster their assets if they wish.
Banks with a ratio below this would be suspended unless their fiscal health improves within a set period.
“In a bid to help ease market worries over savings banks, financial regulators will try to get the lowdown on the actual situation by examining their businesses and inducing their self-rescue efforts,” FSC chairman Kim Seok-dong told reporters.
“The plans are expected to create a healthy base for the savings bank sector’s growth and reduce market worries,” Yonhap news agency quoted him as saying.
The regulator said it would not suspend any troubled savings banks before its assessment is announced in late September, unless the bank faces a severe liquidity shortage due to customer runs.
Samhwa Mutual Savings Bank, the first savings bank this year to be suspended, was sold to Woori Finance Holdings in March.
RECORD BUDGET: TSMC does plan to raise its proposed capital expenditure a lot, and could benefit if Intel outsources more of its production to foundries, analysts said Intel Corp’s earnings conference call on Thursday is expected to clarify the US semiconductor giant’s outsourcing production plans, which would be crucial regarding Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) performance, analysts said. “TSMC stands to benefit if Intel outsources more of its fabrication to foundries,” SinoPac Securities Investment Service Corp (永豐投顧) analysts said in a note on Friday. Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) was more cautious, saying that Intel’s contribution initially would be limited, but its outsourcing plans would still highlight TSMC’s leadership in technology, it added. “Intel will continue to manufacture server or high-end central processing units [CPUs], which have higher
MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday announced it would give incentive bonuses totaling NT$1.7 billion (US$59.7 million) to its employees and those at the firm’s major subsidiaries, after the smartphone chip supplier’s revenue hit US$10 billion last year. This is the biggest incentive bonus the Hsinchu-based handset chip designer has ever distributed in its 23-year history. About 17,000 full-time employees of MediaTek and five of its subsidiaries, including Richtek Technology Corp (立錡科技) and Airoha Technology Corp (絡達科技), would receive a “red envelope” of NT$100,000 each, the company said. “Surpassing US$10 billion is just the beginning. We will continue to [grow] on this basis,” MediaTek
TO SPUR REVENUE: The contract chipmaker expects its profit to grow 15 percent this year, outpacing the foundry industry’s projected advance of about 10 percent Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday raised its projected capital spending for this year by 62 percent, a new high, in an attempt to satisfy customer demand for advanced technologies in the production of central processing units, high-performance-computing (HPC) devices and 5G applications. After investing US$17.24 billion last year, TSMC this year plans to spend US$25 billion to US$28 billion on manufacturing equipment and new facilities, including a fab in the US. About 80 percent of the budget would be allocated for developing advanced technologies including 3, 5 and 7-nanometer technologies, the company said. The larger-than-expected capital spending prompted speculation
Norway’s oil and gas reserves have made it one of the world’s wealthiest countries, but its dreams for deep-sea discovery now center on something different. This time, Oslo is looking for a leading role in mining copper, zinc and other metals found on the seabed and in hot demand in green technologies. The country could license companies for deep-sea mining as early as 2023, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said, potentially placing it among the first countries to harvest seabed metals for electric vehicle batteries, wind turbines and solar farms. However, that could also place it on the front line of