BenQ Corp (明基) chairman Lee Kun-yao (李焜耀) and a senior aide have been cleared by the Taiwan High Court of insider trading in a decision that could restore investor confidence in the company.
The court confirmed a lower court decision absolving Lee and a former company president of guilt when BenQ sold stock options via four overseas companies ahead of the announcement of massive losses sustained by the company.
Sentences and fines have instead been handed down to three former financial and accounting executives accused of illegally trading about 6 million to 7 million company shares before releasing its 2005 fourth-quarter earnings report in March the following year.
Former BenQ chief financial officer Eric Yu (游克用) was given a four-year sentence and a NT$20 million (US$693,400) fine. Sentences of up to three-and-a-half years and fines between NT$1 million and NT$3 million were also given to two other senior associates.
All the findings can still be appealed to the Supreme Court, which the company’s lawyers have indicated would happen.
“Lee is relieved at the decision, but he also believes in the innocence of his three colleagues. As a result, we will continue to appeal,” Hsiao We-teh (蕭維德), one of Lee’s lawyers, said after the ruling was announced.
Prosecutors have not indicated whether they would file an appeal.
Taoyuan-based BenQ is one of the nation’s largest makers of branded consumer electronics. However, losses accumulated in 2005 after the company failed to spark interest in a cellphone arm acquired from Germany’s Siemens AG a year earlier, leading to the allegations of insider trading.
The company has maintained that the stock options were transferred outside the company to attract foreign talent and distribute employee benefits. A statement called the decision to charge the five executives a “legal loophole” that should be fixed.
“The legal amendments and verdicts reached by the first and second rulings are evidence that the relevant authorities understand and recognize the methods used by the BenQ group,” the company said in a statement.
“Yu also believes that the court will declare him innocent in the end,” it added.
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) plans to reopen its guestrooms in December to take advantage of a boom in domestic travel. The reopening would come six months after the five-star facility suspended room operations to cut costs as countries across the region impose border controls to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, diminishing demand for business travel. “We are delighted to share that Mandarin Oriental Taipei will resume room operations on December 1,” the hotel said in a statement yesterday. The hotel in Songshan District (松山) said it would adopt stringent health and safety practices to ensure the well-being of its guests and employees. It
HSBC Bank (Taiwan) Ltd (匯豐台灣商銀) has approved two sustainability-linked loans totaling NT$450 million (US$15.55 million) for Taya Group (大亞集團) and Sinbon Electronics Co (信邦電子), the bank said yesterday, adding that interest rates would fall if the borrowers’ sustainability performance improves. Those marked the first sustainability-linked loans granted by HSBC Taiwan, it said. While HSBC Taiwan has experience providing green loans for the nation’s developers of renewable energy sources to support their projects, the bank began focusing on sustainability-linked loans to meet rising demand from companies in other sectors planning to undertake sustainability programs, it said. “As we reward our clients who reach their
FRONTRUNNER: While the company’s global parent has pledged to lower emissions to 2 tonnes per employee, the local subsidiary has curbed its output to 1.8 tonnes HSBC Bank Taiwan Ltd (?豐台灣商銀) is committed to enhancing corporate social responsibility by cutting carbon emissions, boosting sustainable financing and conducting projects that result in positive social impacts such as wild bird protection, the bank said in an interview in Taipei on Friday. The bank aims to reduce its carbon emissions as its parent company, HSBC Holdings PLC, earlier this month said it targets to reduce emissions in its daily operations and supply chains to net zero by 2030, as well as net zero emissions of its portfolio of customers by 2050, it said. HSBC Taiwan has adopted measures to make its
‘NEW TRAVEL MARKET’: The carrier initially planned to lay off about 8,000 people globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 percent of its workforce Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) would cut 6,000 jobs and close its Cathay Dragon brand, the South China Morning Post reported, as part of a strategic review to combat the unprecedented damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hong Kong-based airline is expected to officially announce the plan after the market close today, the newspaper said. It initially planned about 8,000 layoffs globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 percent of its total workforce, including about 5,000 jobs in Hong Kong, it said. The company, which posted a HK$9.9 billion (US$1.3 billion) loss in the first half, has for months