Virus Outbreak: Taishin eyes corporate lending growthCLOUDY VISIBILITY: The firm would retain its original goal of high single-digit growth for the sector this year, but it would be cautious, president Welch Lin told investorsBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterTaishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控) yesterday said its banking unit is expected to see high single-digit percentage growth in corporate lending this year, despite the COVID-19 outbreak. An undated photograph shows the entrance of Taishin Financial Holding Co headquarters in Taipei. “With unclear visibility on corporate lending ahead, we would be more cautious, but still keep our original goal of high single-digit growth in corporate lending this year,” Taishin Financial president Welch Lin (林維俊) said. As loans extended to industries vulnerable to the outbreak, such as tourism, hotels and aviation, made up less than 1 percent of its corporate lending, loan quality should remain sound this year, Sharon Lin said. Despite the loan growth in the first quarter, net fee income from corporate banking fell 24.8 percent annually to NT$314 million, as many syndicated loans had been postponed due to the outbreak, the bank said.
High Court clears former air force officer of spyingBy Huang Chia-lin / Staff reporterFormer Air Force Air Defense and Artillery Command chief of staff colonel Hsin Peng-sheng (辛澎生) was yesterday found not guilty by the High Court after previously being sentenced to six months in prison under the National Security Act (國家安全法) for attempting to “develop an organization” for China. Hsin accepted free travel, meals and accommodation from Zhao, prosecutors said. Former Air Force Air Defense and Artillery Command chief of staff colonel Hsin Peng-sheng is pictured in an undated photograph. However, the High Court ruled that accepting inducements did not constitute the development of an espionage organization. The High Court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to uphold Hsin’s and Yang’s convictions.
Among the nation’s 440 confirmed cases, 375 patients have recovered and been removed from isolation, he said. Asked about relaxing disease prevention regulations, Chen said that students taking examinations as part of the Comprehensive Assessment Program for Junior High School Students this weekend would still be required to wear masks. Documents from a hospital proving that they are engaged in epidemic prevention work and their hospital staff identification card would need to be presented when checking in, he added. Addressing the children, Chen said that they can play outside again if they promise to practice good personal hygiene to stay healthy. He said that he would return their piggy banks and allowances to encourage them to continue saving money.
KMT member sparks public outcry with his criticism of NPP legislator‘LITTLE LIGHTBULB’: NPP and KMT members blasted Harry Lee’s comments that Claire Wang was exploiting the murder of her daughter for her own political gainBy Wu Su-wei, Shih Hsiao-kuang and Jake Chung / Staff reporters, with staff writerChinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member Harry Lee’s (李來希) criticism of New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Claire Wang (王婉諭), including his comments about Wang’s slain daughter, yesterday sparked a public outcry, prompting the KMT to distance itself from Lee. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member Harry Lee, in his role as chairman of the National Civil Servants’ Association of Taiwan, gestures during a meeting in an undated photograph. New Power Party Legislator Claire Wang speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday, responding to comments made by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member Harry Lee. NPP Chairman Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) strongly condemned Lee’s comments, calling on Han, who has long called for open-mindedness, and the KMT to make known their stance regarding such malignant commentary. The KMT does not condone Lee’s commentary and urges him to issue an apology, KMT Culture and Communications Committee chair Alicia Wang (王育敏) said.
The center said it released the survey to push President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is to begin her second term on Wednesday next week, to expedite energy reform. Asked if they would support increasing electricity prices from an average of NT$2.6 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for energy reform, 62 percent said yes and 18.8 percent said no, while 19.2 percent said they had no opinion. Electricity prices should better reflect their external costs, he added. Asked why they would support an electricity price hike, 57.8 percent said to improve air quality. It has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 2.97 percentage points, the center said.
Campaigners urge better protection of child workersBy Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporterLawmakers and children’s rights advocates yesterday called for greater protection of young workers following the alleged abuse of a 17-year-old by his employer. Chan allegedly held the boy, who was not named, and Lin in captivity for three months and took their mobile phones, CNA said. Taiwan Alliance for Advancement of Youth Rights and Welfare secretary-general Yeh Ta-hua, center, takes part in a panel with legislators and other youth rights advocates at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. The 17-year-old had found the job through a human resources agency after leaving school, the Taiwan Alliance for Advancement of Youth Rights and Welfare said. The labor ministry is to hold a meeting on May 26 to discuss the formation of an inter-agency committee on youth workplace safety, Liu said, adding that experts on youth rights, and health and safety would be invited.
Fubon, Cathay hurt by insurance unitsBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterFubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) and Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) last month saw their net profit decline from the previous month due to less contribution from their insurance units, which reported rising hedging costs as the New Taiwan dollar appreciated 1.5 percent versus the greenback. Fubon Financial’s net profit decreased 36 percent to NT$5.2 billion (US$174 million) and Fubon Life Insurance Co’s (富邦人壽) net profit plunged 79 percent to NT$1.55 billion. Cathay Financial’s net profit declined 8 percent month-on-month to NT$4.1 billion, as Cathay Life Insurance Co’s (國泰人壽) net profit dove 27 percent to NT$1.51 billion. Despite falling profits, Fubon Financial and Cathay Financial remained the top two most profitable companies respectively among the nation’s 15 financial holdings, their data showed. They are Hua Nan Financial Holding Co (華南金控), Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控), China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控) and Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控).
Online ordering of HIV test kits now availableANONYMITY: The kits would be sent to designated 7-Eleven outlets in packages that do not say what is inside or list the manufacturer, a top CDC official saidBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporterPeople can now order rapid HIV self-testing kits online and pick them up at 7-Eleven convenience stores, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday. The test is easy, requiring a gentle swipe with the test swab on the upper and lower gums, and then the swab is placed in a test tube and the result is available in 15 to 20 minutes, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said. The online sales that began yesterday are the second wave of the 2020 HIV Home Testing Program that began on May 1, which allowed people to purchase rapid test kits at 362 locations nationwide, including pharmacies, saunas and vending machines, Lo said. An HIV self-testing kit is pictured in an undated photograph. However, people willing to register their initial results online with the CDC would receive an electronic coupon for a free test kit, he added.
Since 2016, the NHIA has tightened its review on claims for NHI reimbursements of medical expenses in other nations, especially in cases of caesarean sections in the US, so the approval rate has fallen from 63 percent in 2016 to 23 percent in 2018, NHIA official Tung Yu-yun (董玉芸) said. National Health Insurance Administration Director-General Lee Po-chang holds a placard giving details of an insurance fraud at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. A fake diagnosis certificate for placenta previa was provided by a California clinic so that Liu’s clients could claim National Health Insurance reimbursement and file claims on the travel insurance policies when they returned to Taiwan, she said. Clients were charged about NT$400,000 (US$13,369 at the current exchange rate) for the service, and they could claim NHI reimbursement for about NT$25,000 from the NHIA and an average of NT$300,000 from insurance companies, Tung said. Thirty-four of Liu’s clients obtained a total of about NT$7 million, including about NT$650,000 in NHI reimbursements, Tung said, adding that the NHIA would seek NT$25,000 in reimbursement as well as a NT$50,000 fine from each of the clients.
Virus Outbreak: US Senate passes bill urging Taiwan WHA actionStaff writer, with CNAThe US Senate on Monday passed a bill that asks US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to come up with a strategy to help Taiwan regain observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA). The Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan legislation, which was introduced by US Senator James Inhofe, cochair of the US Senate Taiwan Caucus, on Jan. 29 last year and passed by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on June 3 last year. Photo: Reuters“Granting Taiwan observer status at the World Health Organization would allow Taiwan to fully share its expertise in handling COVID-19 and rightfully reflect its global healthcare contributions that have been unjustly curtailed by Chinese objections,” US Senator Cory Gardner said. Tedros should not be manipulated by the irrational demands of one WHO member country and should restore Taiwan’s observer status in the organization, she said. It is regrettable that China is threatening and lambasting Wellington for its support for Taiwan, she said.
Legislators pass Farmers’ Insurance ActSTEMMING LOSSES: Chiu Yi-ying said that government grants are no longer enough to offset the damage weather and pests incur on the agricultural industry every yearBy Sean Lin / Staff reporterThe Legislative Yuan yesterday passed a third reading of the Farmers’ Insurance Act (農業保險法), which aims to safeguard the income of farmers, animal breeders, fishers and foresters from natural disasters and other incidents. The act identifies entities that can provide farmers’ insurance, including designated farmers’ or fishers’ associations, as well as insurance companies. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers cheer after the Farmers’ Insurance Act passes a third reading at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday. The council is to establish a farmers’ insurance fund to determine the risks associated with people who work in the four sectors and develop policies to manage them, the act says. The council should also set the qualifications for inspection personnel, develop training programs, introduce certification rules and create an inspection personnel database, it says.
Lawmakers vow to thwart ‘digital gender violence’By Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporterDemocratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Fan Yun (范雲) and other lawmakers yesterday said that they would propose legislation to protect victims of nonconsensual dissemination of intimate images. The legislation aimed at preventing “digital gender violence” is being introduced due to an absence of laws that offer adequate protection to victims, Fan told a news conference in Taipei. The bill would include a mechanism for the immediate removal of private sexual images, Fan said, adding that everyone, regardless of their gender, should have autonomy over such images. Su called the spread of intimate images on online platforms a new type of crime and a new class of cybercrime, for which there must be laws. Lai said that when private images are leaked, it is often the victim who is blamed or mocked, while the perpetrator is let off lightly.
Transport ministry to push ‘epidemic prevention tours’By Shelley Shan / Staff reporterThe Ministry of Transportation and Communications is to promote “epidemic prevention tours” from Wednesday next week, when President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to start her second term in office, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said yesterday. He spoke with reporters after a briefing by contractors managing the station’s floor space, saying that the tours would be the first phase. Photo: Cheng Wei-chi, Taipei Times“We plan to start promoting ‘epidemic prevention tours’ from Wednesday next week and we have been working with travel service operators on a range of tour arrangements,” Lin said. “We also want tourism upgrade program trainees to set the example and show us how to arrange the tours,” he said. Regardless of whether the next phase involves epidemic prevention tours or government-subsidized safe tours, Lin said that the ministry would focus on subsidizing group tours on weekdays, otherwise tourist attractions and hotels would be inundated on weekends.
His remarks upset a Chinese student, and the school twice asked him to apologize in front of the class, he told reporters. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Mark Ho, right, speaks during a news conference with Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Chao Ming-wei in Taipei yesterday. The university threatened him to force him to apologize, and his apology had to be approved by school authorities, he added. He was disappointed with the university’s response, Chao said, adding that academic freedom, freedom of speech, and students’ right to education and teachers’ right to work should be respected. The ministry would ask the university to explain, adding that Taiwan should not be demeaned during academic exchanges, she said.
May 11, 2020 15:56 UTC
Chen Jui-chieh fires brace, but Tatung held 2-2By Jason Pan / Staff reporterTatung and Hang Yuan each picked up a point on Sunday after a 2-2 draw in the fifth round of Taiwan Football Premier League matches, while Taiwan Steel netted four in a robust display of their firepower. Tatung forward Chen Jui-chieh, second right, controls the ball against Hang Yuan in their Taiwan Football Premier League match at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City on Sunday. However, the lead lasted only 10 minutes, with Tatung forward Chen slotting home inside the far post to make it 1-1. Chen claimed his brace after halftime, collecting a pass on the run and chipping Hang Yuan goalkeeper Huang Chiu-lin to put Tatung in front. Our defender got hurt and he fell behind Wu, who then scored the equalizer,” Tatung head coach Chiang Mu-tsai said.
May 11, 2020 15:56 UTC