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Taiwanese aircraft maker AIDC applies to be privatized

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's sole aircraft maker AIDC (漢翔) applied to be listed on the stock exchange Monday as part of a government drive to privatize large state-owned enterprises.

Shares in Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. are set to be traded on the Taiwan Stock Exchange from the fourth quarter of this year, the company said.

Privatization plans have swirled since the mid-1990s after the firm produced the last of its Indigenous Defence Fighters (IDF) — the island's only locally designed fighter — as the air force moved to the U.S.-made F-16.

The firm has since become a supplier of commercial parts, producing components for several aerospace giants including Boeing, Airbus and Sikorsky while keeping maintenance contracts from the air force.

Founded in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing in 1946, AIDC was reorganized as the Aero Industry Development Center in 1969 and as a state enterprise in 1995.

The privatization follows that of leading shipyard CSBC, Taiwan in 2008.

AIDC posted a net profit last year of NT$1.3 billion (US$42.7 million) on revenues of NT$23 billion.

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