Tue, Sep 20, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Polaris' Chang to take helm of Taiwan Business Bank

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH BLOOMBERG

The Ministry of Finance yesterday appointed Michael Chang (張兆順), vice president of Polaris Financial Group (寶來集團), to take over Herbert Chung's (鍾甦生) chairmanship of the state-run Taiwan Business Bank (台灣企銀).

Chung offered to quit after talks to sell the government's US$1 billion stake in the bank collapsed because of union protests.

Resignation

Chung last Friday offered his resignation to the Ministry of Finance, the bank's main shareholder, the lender said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

Chang's decision will come into effect after the bank's board approved his appointment in a meeting, said Liu Teng-cheng (劉燈城), director general of the ministry's National Treasury Agency.

Chang, 57, graduated from the Graduate Institute of Public Finance at National Chengchi University. He took up his position at Polaris Financial Group late last month after leaving the chairmanship at the Bank of Overseas Chinese (華僑銀行).

During his tenure at the poorly performing Bank of Overseas Chinese, Chang successfully introduced recapitalization and restructuring to help lower the bank's non-performing loan (NPL) ratio and boost its capital adequacy ratio.

"How the Taiwan Business Bank will be merged [with a private lender] and whether organizational restructuring will be introduced are up to Chang, after he evaluates the situation," Liu said.

Finance Minister Lin Chuan (林全) said last Wednesday that talks with an undisclosed buyer of all the lender's shares hial buyer to pull out of talks.

Shares drop

The news caused shares of Taiwan's ninth-largest bank to fall by the daily 7 percent limit last Thursday and an additional 2.6 percent the following day.

The stock fell a further 4.5 percent to close at NT$8.82 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

Taiwan Business Bank is 41 percent owned by the government.

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