Wed, Nov 03, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Mega in talks with President Securities

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Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控), Taiwan's second-largest banking group, said it's in talks to buy brokerage President Securities Corp (統一證券) from the nation's largest food company, Uni-President Group.

"We are in the process of buying it now," Mega Financial Executive Vice President Joseph Shieh (謝劍平) said in a telephone interview. He didn't elaborate.

The Financial Supervisory Commission said in September it would offer incentives to banks in Taiwan to merge, including approving overseas branches and licenses for new products.

President Securities is scheduled to hold a presentation for Mega Financial on Tuesday, a Chinese-language newspaper said. Uni-President Group has indicated any sale of the brokerage should exceed NT$20 per share, the paper said.

Shieh said last month that Mega may buy President Securities and Allianz President Life Insurance Co from Uni-President Group. Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) and Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) are also reportedly interested in buying the two units.

The government aims to shrink the number of financial holding companies by half to seven in two years and have each of the top three dominate at least 10 percent of the market, according to a statement released by the president's office last month.

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