Fri, Oct 17, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Chinatrust planning to double market share in five years


Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控), the nation's fourth-biggest financial services company by market value, aims to double its domestic market share within five years before it attempts to expand abroad.

"With the combination of consolidation in the market and our capacity to expand our products and services, the group hopes to achieve a 10 percent market share in terms of deposits in the next three to five years," Chinatrust Commercial Bank president Eric Chen (陳聖德) said in a press briefing yesterday.

Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託銀行), the commercial banking arm of the financial services company owned by Koos Group (和信集團), denied an earlier report saying the lender was in talks to take over rival SinoPac Holdings Co (建華金控).

"We have enough on the table to make us busy for some," said Chen, the former chief of Citigroup Inc's Taiwanese unit who joined the commercial lender in March.

Chinatrust Financial, which is about 47 percent owned by foreign investors as of Wednesday, agreed to buy rival Grand Com-mercial Bank (萬通銀行) for about NT$20 billion in July.

Chinatrust said at the time it will take about two years to integrate Grand Commercial, which will double its network to more than 100 branches and 1,800 automated teller machines.

Chen said turning Chinatrust Financial, which gets about one-tenth of its profit from its overseas operations, into a "greater China bank" is one of the lender's top priorities.

Still, Chinatrust Financial has no plans to enter China through strategic investments in Chinese banks.

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