Thu, Aug 05, 2004 - Page 10 News List

SinoPac Holdings agrees to buy United Securities

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SinoPac Holdings Co (建華金控), which is about 30 percent owned by foreign investors, said it signed a memorandum of understanding to take over United Securities Investment Trust Co (聯合投信) for NT$299 million (US$8.8 million).

SinoPac will apply to sell new funds through United Securities, which now manages four equity funds, after making it a subsidiary of the company, a statement from the buyer said.

United Securities has a net worth of NT$320 million and has an obligation of having assets under management of not less than NT$200 million when the sale is completed, SinoPac spokesman Kevin Peng (彭康雄) said.

"Acquiring United Securities will give SinoPac a better and wider platform for doing its wealth management business by offering more services and products," president Paul Lo (盧正昕) said in a statement.

Last month, the United Securities Investment -- 40 percent owned by Macquarie Bank of Australia -- sold three bond funds that were estimated to have NT$10 billion in assets, to Fubon Securities Investment Trust Co (富邦投信), the nation's second-largest mutual fund manager, as it failed to meet redemptions on United Fund (聯合), United Triumph Bond Fund (雙盈) and Wei-Li Fund (威利).

SinoPac, formed in 2002 from the combination of Bank SinoPac (華信銀行) and National Securities Corp (建弘證券), needs to compete with the nation's more than 700 financial institutions.

SinoPac last month said it had an unaudited profit of NT$2.97 billion in the first half of the year, compared with an audited first-half profit of NT$1.7 billion last year.

Shares of SinoPac fell NT$0.30, or 1.9 percent, to NT$15.50 on the TAIEX yesterday.

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