Shanghai Will Punish Electronics Maker for Polluting River

Shanghai’s government said it will punish a Taiwanese tablet maker affiliated with Pegatron Corp. for polluting a river in the city’s Songjiang district.

RiTeng Computer Accessory Co. discharged waste through a rain pipe into a local river, the Songjiang environmental protection bureau said in a Feb. 17 statement on its website. The pollution was reported during the Lunar New Year holiday, the government said. Shares of Casetek Holdings Ltd. pared losses after the Taipei-based parent of RiTeng said today the one-time incident wasn’t related to production procedures and will have a limited impact.

Workers at the Shanghai factory didn’t follow proper waste-water management procedures while conducting a cleanup, Jonathan Chang, chief financial officer of Casetek, told Bloomberg News by telephone today. The company hasn’t been notified of the penalty and expects the fine won’t exceed 300,000 yuan ($48,000), he said.

Chemical spills and industrial waste pollution in China have fueled criticism of the government’s environmental controls and spurred protests in some cities. Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong has said the environment is among issues the municipality plans to tackle over the next five years.

Casetek closed 0.7 percent lower at NT$144 in Taipei after dropping by the 6.9 percent daily limit. Volume was almost triple that of yesterday and the highest since the shares began trading last month.

“Any penalty on Casetek will be limited,” Angela Hsiang, an analyst at KGI Securities Co., said in a report today. “The dip in the share price brings an investment opportunity” as the company’s current valuation is lower than its peers, she said.

A 2011 explosion at a RiTeng factory in Shanghai injured employees and resulted in damage to some equipment, according to a filing by Pegatron to the Taiwan stock exchange.

— With assistance by Tim Culpan

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