National Stabilization Fund has not entered market

The China Post news staff

Finance Minister Lee Suh-der said yesterday that the National Stabilization Fund has yet to step in to bolster the local bourse, but will if needed and at an appropriate time. Lee made the remarks when fielding questions at a joint session of the judiciary, finance and organic laws and statutes committees of the Legislative Yuan.

As prices of shares listed on the local bourse have declined in tandem with heavy plunges on the Tokyo stock exchange, whether and when the government’s National Stabilization Fund will step in to bolster the performance of the local bourse has become a focus of concern among lawmakers at the joint session of committees.

Lawmaker Huang Wei-tze of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party asked Lee “whether the National Stabilization will join the local bourse soon?” Huang also said that the government should be informed if the fund decides to step in.

Meanwhile, Lawmaker Lai Shy-bao of the ruling Kuomintang asked Minister Lee: “Has the National Stabilization Fund already joined the local bourse?” In response, Lee said that the National Stabilization Fund hasn’t stepped in so far, but will do so if necessary. He stressed that the fund will closely monitor the fluctuations of the local bourse for a while. “If needed, members of the management team for the National Stabilization Fund can meet immediately to discuss when and if to bolster the performance of the local bourse,” Lee continued.

The minister also noted that the National Stabilization Fund will step in at a pace faster than “opening the gate of a nuclear power plant” if the entry is needed.

Recently, it took 30 minutes for Taiwan Power engineers to open the water gate of a nuclear power plant, which was deemed too slow.

Also yesterday, Governor Perng Fai-nan of the central bank said that the massive earthquake hitting northeastern Japan is estimated to undermine Japan’s economic growth by one to two percentage points, but it’s difficult to assess the impact of the catastrophe on Taiwan. But Perng stressed that compared with neighboring countries, Taiwan has boasted a relatively more stable foreign exchange market and steadier commodity prices. But he declined to answer whether the central bank will further raise its key interest rates by the end of March.