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Taiwan privatizes state aircraft maker AIDC

TAIPEI--Taiwan's sole aircraft maker Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC,漢翔) was given the green light to list on the local stock exchange Monday, as part of a government drive to privatize large state-owned enterprises.

The application for AIDC to begin trading shares was approved by the Taiwan Stock Exchange during a committee meeting, the company said.

Company spokesman N.J. Lin told AFP that the aircraft maker, which has reported profits for seven years in a row, would continue to benefit from robust global demand for commercial aircraft.

“Looking ahead, we have faith in the company's operations, as current strong demand is expected to remain unchanged for several years,” Lin said.

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

Privatization plans have swirled since the mid-1990s after the firm produced the last of its Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDF, 經國號戰機) — 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, Bell, Sikorsky and Bombardier Aerospace while retaining maintenance contracts with 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.

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