Taiwan's Hong Kong-listed TCC International Holdings net profit last year fell a year on year 26.9 per cent to HK$106.23 million. The cement manufacturer and telecommunications investor attributed much of the earnings drop to a HK$31.9 million provision against investment securities. However, turnover grew 46.8 per cent, year on year, to HK$651.09 million. Managing director Wu Yih-chin said the company made a HK$14 million provision on investments in short-term securities and a HK$17 million provision on the depreciation of the share price in its 10 per cent interest in GigaMedia - controlled by its parent, the Koos Group. TCC's net profit margin was cut in half to 16.3 per cent from the 32.7 per cent in 1999. Earnings per share fell 52.8 per cent to 14.3 HK cents. Mr Wu stressed the provisions for investment losses were temporary and unrealised. 'If we sell our investments in short-term securities today, we could have to write-back about HK$11 million,' he said. The company proposed a final dividend of four HK cents, down two HK cents from 1999. It expects its cement business to be stable this year as the continuing strong growth in its Philippine cement operation would offset an expected 10 per cent drop in its Hong Kong operation. Meanwhile, TCC chairman Leslie Koo Cheng-yun said 10.2 per cent-held associate K G Telecommunications would be interested in bidding for a third generation (3G) licence in Taiwan only if the cost were between NT$10 billion (about HK$2.37 billion) and NT$20 billion. He said the business potential of 3G was viable only if the licence cost fell in that range. He believed the Taiwanese Government would take a reasonable approach in granting 3G licences and not adopt an auction method. Last year TCC paid HK$1.57 billion for 10.2 per cent in K G Telecom. The company wrote off about HK$900 million in goodwill, arising from the acquisition, against reserves, Mr Wu said.