Despite the setback in securing a buyer for the state-controlled Taiwan Business Bank (
"I cannot say this case will not deal a blow to financial reform, but we cannot become depressed. Instead, we must review any possible flaws to fine-tune the way we push the reform," he said on Wednesday night after announcing that Taiwan Business Bank's share-sale had failed.
The minister said the sale had failed because the bank's labor union and the interested buyer could not reach an agreement on employee benefits.
Facing a room packed with reporters, Lin denied that the government had been rushing to push state-run banks' mergers with bigger players in the hope that this would stimulate private, family-owned banking institutions to seek merger targets and boost the financial sector's competitiveness.
State-run banks have a 55 percent share of the market by assets, and 50 percent by revenues, he said, adding that the government must withdraw from these businesses to facilitate fair competition and internationalization.
This year, the government has disposed of the poorly performing Bank of Overseas Chinese (
Answering questions as to why the finance ministry would rush to sell Taiwan Business Bank, Lin said that the lender, despite having an advantage in retail channels, has actually lost an average of NT$1.6 per share over the past four years.
"The bank only made money in one of the past four years if we look at after-tax profits. In one year, it was even more than NT$10 billion [US$305 million] in the red," he said, adding that it is urgent to boost the small lender's quality and strengthen its operations by pushing for a merger.
He said that although Taiwan Business Bank is known for its expertise in granting loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), its market share in this niche is only 12 percent.
"As any lender can develop this business, Taiwan Business Bank's merger will not affect the ability of SMEs to obtain loans," Lin said.
The minister declined to name the bank's union as a major reason for the bid's failure, despite concern that the union's strong opposition to the privatization scheme may create a domino effect among other lenders.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion