Taiwan Land Development Corp (TLDC, 台灣土地開發) yesterday called on the government to stop thwarting its attempts to revitalize idle plots of industrial land, as it needs funding for development projects in different areas of Taiwan.
The Taipei-based company is seeking to sell idle industrial plots in Hualien and Kaohsiung that could generate considerable profit if local authorities stopped their administrative boycott, chairman Chiu Fu-sheng (邱復生) said, adding that the plots could help meet the expansion needs of companies returning from China.
The government has for years owed the company billions of development money, which is a burden that should not have fallen on TLDC in the first place, Chiu said.
At issue is NT$625 billion (US$21.1 billion) the company has paid for costs related to the development of industrial parks on the government’s behalf, he said.
Chiu made the plea during the company’s annual general meeting in Taipei, where he remained at the firm’s helm following his re-election and shareholders approved a proposal not to distribute any dividends from last year’s earnings.
The company, which helps the government develop industrial parks and other public works, posted net income of NT$299 million last year, or earnings of NT$0.4 per share.
Facing shareholders’ complaints that no dividend payouts have been distributed over the past four years, Chiu asked them to be more patient and allow the company more time to boost its profitability.
“I long for dividend payouts more than any other shareholder after raising my stakes several times to keep the company running,” Chiu said.
More time is needed for development projects in Taichung, Hualien and Hsinchu City, as well as Nantou County and the outlying Kinmen County to pay off, he said.
The company could afford dividend payouts if the government picked up development costs and supported its asset disposal plans, he added.
As for the company’s other investments, Chiu said the Wind Lion Plaza (風獅城) in Kinmen, a shopping mall and a build-operate-transfer venture with the county government, has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic due to a sharp decline in the number of Chinese visitors.
However, New Paradiso (新天堂樂園), a mixed-use complex with a shopping mall and other recreational facilities in Hualien, has reported a solid increase in visitors and business, he said.
The company plans to begin construction of a health complex in Hualien and a hotel complex in Hsinchu later this year, ushering in another phase for respective development projects, it said.
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