Thu, Dec 30, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Cross-strait banking a `win-win' policy


Allowing Taiwan's banking institutions to operate branches in China will be a "win-win" policy benefiting the economies of both Taiwan and China, the chairman of Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) said yesterday.

Taiwan's top banking magnate, Jeffrey Koo (辜濂松), said that China is currently the largest financial market in the world, but until recently Taiwan's financial institutions were not allowed to open branches there as a result of the political deadlock across the Taiwan Strait. Against this backdrop, China's financial market will be dominated by foreign banks in several years, Koo said.

It will be a daunting task for Taiwanese banks to win the business of Taiwanese businessmen operating in China once they have established solid relations with foreign banks, Koo said.

Chinatrust Financial currently maintains an office in Beijing. While the representative office can be upgraded into a branch after two years of operations, Koo said he has no idea when that upgrade will take place for his firm.

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