FSC calls for listed firms to reveal quake-related losses

The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff — The Cabinet-level Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday called for firms listed on the local bourse to reveal their investment losses in Japan within the next two days, following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that ravaged the nation’s northeast . Lee Chi-hsien, director general of the Securities and Futures Bureau of the FSC, said if listed firms have suffered investment losses in Japan as a result of the disasters, they should publicize their losses on the online information monitoring mechanism of the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp. Meanwhile, FSC chairman Chen Yu-chang will send a consolatory letter to its Japanese counterpart, and the Insurance Bureau under the FSC will also move to assess the impact of the latest quake and tsunami on Japan’s insurance sector, in order to provide valuable reference information for Taiwan’s insurance firms.

Officials with the Insurance Bureau said that they will push for the launch of earthquake insurance to better safeguard the interests of local people and enterprises. In fact, the devastating quake and tsunami that savaged the northeastern coast of Japan has had an impact on Taiwan’s manufacturing industry, forcing quite a few listed firms to cushion the impact, especially on their production and supply chains.

As a result, Premier Wu Den-yi was forced to cancel a scheduled meeting with top executives from 267 listed firms yesterday. The meeting will be postponed until next week.

As some high-tech firms such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., United Microelectronics, ASE, and AU Optronics have been somewhat affected by the disasters, the Ministry of Economic Affairs is evaluating the impact on the local bourse. The National Stabilization Fund and other major government-linked funds are accelerating preparations for joining the local bourse to bolster the stock market when needed.

Just one day earlier, Vice Premier Sean Chen said that as only three listed Taiwanese firms have invested in Japan, the impact of the Japanese earthquake on Taiwan was limited, but the influence on some local supply chains remains to be seen, due to their reliance on the supply of Japanese components and parts.

Huang Chung-chiu, vice economics minister, pointed out that the three listed firms with investments in Japan are AU Optronics, United Microelectronics, and ASE Inc. AUO has acquired two plants for producing poly-silicon materials, for use in solar cells, in the tsunami-afflicted areas of Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. UMC’s plant in Chiba-ken has been partially damaged but the influence on UMC should be limited, since it only has a monthly output of 20,000 wafers, or 3-5 percent of its total sales. ASE’s plant in Yamagata remained largely intact, although it has suspended production due to power outages.