Wed, Feb 16, 2005 - Page 10 News List

SinoPac, IBT deal near to completion

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A merger between SinoPac Financial Holdings Co (建華金控) and the International Bank of Taipei (IBT, 台北商銀) is slated to be finalized tomorrow, after the receiving approval from the boards of both financial institutions.

Felix Ho (何奕達), vice president of business integration at Yuen Foong Yu Paper Mfg Co (永豐餘) and the eldest son of IBT chairman Ho Show-chung (何壽川), yesterday confirmed that the group has increased its stake in SinoPac Financial from 5 percent to 15 percent, making it the biggest shareholder at SinoPac Financial.

"We'll hold a press conference on Thursday evening to officially announce the deal," Felix Ho said.

The Ho family has reportedly reached a consensus with SinoPac Financial chairman Richard Hong (洪敏弘) over the proposed deal. Hong is the second largest shareholder of SinoPac Financial, with a 9 percent stake.

Last month Hong said he had invited Ho Show-chung to take a seat on SinoPac's 11-member board, which is slated to be reshuffled in mid-May. But at the time, Ho Show-chung said his 5 percent stake in SinoPac Financial were merely an investment.

However, the Ho family appears to have intensively bought up shares of SinoPac Financial over a period of less than a month in a bid to turn IBT into a financial holding company.

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