Taiwan to boost investment by insurers in infrastructure projects

TAIPEI (REUTERS) - Taiwan's cabinet said on Tuesday it will ease regulations to let insurance companies invest in infrastructure projects, as part of a broader package to boost the economy which has been hurt by weak global demand.

"We will make ways for insurers' massive funds to invest in the projects in a short period of time," Premier Jiang Yi-huah told an unscheduled news briefing. "Hopefully, that will help boost the domestic economy."

Taiwan slashed its 2013 GDP outlook to 2.54 percent from 3.59 percent last Friday, showing increased concern that lacklustre global demand poses a threat to the island's pivotal tech exports to China and the United States.

Under the package, the government will subsidise purchases of gas stoves and water heaters, among several other measures, said the premier.

By around 10am, stocks of insurers outperformed the broader market's 0.1 percent gain. Cathay Financial and Fubon Financial, parents of Taiwan's two biggest life insurers, were up 0.9 and 0.3 percent, respectively.

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