New Chunghwa Post head eyes new business -- foreign currency operations

Taipei, Feb. 18 (CNA) Chunghwa Post Co. Chairwoman Lee Jih-chu said Monday that she has solicited support from Taiwan's central bank for the state-run postal company to handle foreign currency deposits. Lee said she has called on Perng Fai-nan, the governor of the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan), to lend his backing for people to open U.S. dollar and Chinese yuan deposits at Chunghwa Post. She said that with the continued development of cross-strait financial operations, the post office needed to take in Chinese yuan, and she expected to submit related plans within one week. According to Lee, Perng has expressed support for the idea. Chunghwa Post is in a special position, Lee said, because it is expected to implement government policies, leading to constraints in the company's postal, savings, and remittance services, while still having to compete in the market at the same time. Noting that the company has more than 1,300 branches and 30 million accounts, Lee said she hoped to integrate Chunghwa Post's logistics, capital and information flows. "Finding opportunities in our own advantages will be my major task," she said. Chunghwa Post has tried to revise the Postal Savings and Remittances Act and Simple Life Insurance Act to improve fund use efficiency, but the drafts have been rejected by the Financial Supervisory Commission every time they have been submitted for review. Lee, a former FSC vice chairwoman, took over the helm of Chunghwa Post from Oliver F. L. Yu in a changeover ceremony Monday presided over by Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih. Yeh said Chunghwa Post now has more than NT$5 trillion in deposits, and figuring out how to use the funds more flexibly will be an important issue for the company in the future. (By Wang Shu-fen and Lilian Wu)