Sat, Sep 17, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Bank chairman resigns over failed sale

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Business Bank (台灣企銀) chairman Herbert Chung (鍾甦生) has submitted his resignation to the Ministry of Finance to take responsibility for the state-controlled bank's share sale, which collapsed on Wednesday night.

"I am deeply sorry about the result and will take responsibility for the failed merger bid," Chung said in a statement yesterday.

Chung, 57, was chairman of the Bank of Overseas Chinese (華僑銀行) before he assumed the Taiwan Business Bank chairmanship in June last year. Before joining the Bank of Overseas Chinese, Chung served as president of the Export-Import Bank of the ROC (中國輸出入銀行) for more than two years.

He has more than 26 years' experience at foreign banks, including Belgium's Fortis Bank and the Royal Bank of Canada.

The planned sale of shares in Taiwan Business Bank, in which the government owns a 41-percent stake, had prompted the bank's union to call a four-day strike to protest the privatization.

The strike ended on Tuesday, but it seemed to have scared off the bank's potential buyer and led to Minister of Finance Lin Chuan (林全) aborting the sale late Wednesday.

Taiwan Business Bank shares fell for the fifth consecutive day to close at NT$9.24 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday. Shares of E.Sun Financial Holding Co (玉山金控), reportedly the potential buyer, were up NT$0.01 to NT$23.05.

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