Tue, Mar 29, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Taishin says SinoPac wants different merger

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Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控), Taiwan's second-largest credit-card issuer, said talks to buy SinoPac Financial Holdings Co (建華金控) collapsed because its rival wants to merge with International Bank of Taipei (台北國際商銀).

"SinoPac decided last week not to accept our merger proposal," Thomas Wu (吳東亮), Taishin's chairman, said in Taipei yesterday.

"The talks collapsed because SinoPac favors a merger with International Bank of Taipei," he said.

A merger between Taishin and SinoPac would have created Taiwan's third-largest privately owned lender, with about 6 percent of the nation's banking market. A combination between SinoPac and International Bank would have about NT$961 billion (US$30.3 billion) of assets.

The financial regulator is offering the country's 49 banks and 14 financial holding companies incentives to merge. The government aims to cut by half the number of financial holding companies in two years to help them compete with foreign rivals.

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