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TWSE head urges lower tax on warrants, ETFs

Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) Chairman Schive Chi (薛琦) yesterday said that to restore the bourse's trading volume the government should consider lowering the stock transaction tax of warrants and exchange traded funds (ETFs) from 0.3 percent to 0.1 percent.

Schive stated that the trading of warrants and ETFs is mainly for hedging, and a lot of countries, including Hong Kong and Singapore, do not obtain taxes from trading for hedging.

Brokerage firms in Taiwan, however, pay 40 percent of the income from trading warrants for the transaction tax, the chairman said.

The chairman went on that if the transaction tax upon warrants can be reduced to 0.1 percent the trading volume of warrants would increase from 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent of total stock transaction.

According to Schive, in Hong Kong, the trading volume of warrants accounts for 20 to 30 percent of total trading volume.

As for ETFs, the chairman said in the U.S. the trading of ETFs accounts for 20 percent of total trading volume.

Schive said that a cooperation pact between the TWSE and the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) is going to be signed. After that, the TWSE and SSE can create a new weighted index, and the TWSE can introduce ETFs in SSE to Taiwan.

Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰) demanded the TWSE to submit a report on the lowering of warrants' and ETFs' transaction tax to the Finance Committee of the Legislative Yuan with clear numbers of how much the trade volume would increase.

KMT Legislator Lo Ming-tsai (羅明才) also reiterated his proposal yesterday that the stock transaction tax should be reduced from 0.3 percent to 0.2 percent, which according to him is the tax rate in Hong Kong and Singapore, to stimulate trade volume.

Lo stated that in order to make Taiwan a financial hub, the government should cut taxes, instead of implementing the luxury tax, the stock gains tax, and the supplementary national health care premium.

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