Minister of Finance Joseph Lyu (
Lyu made the clarification after he disclosed in a television interview on Monday night that Chao had called him twice since he took the helm of the ministry in January.
During the interview, Lyu said that Chao made the first call to congratulate him on his new job. Yesterday, Lyu said that Chao's second call was a query about the International Commercial Bank of China's (ICBC,
Lyu said that he told Chao over the phone at the time that, given that ICBC had been privatized, the ministry would respect the lender's decision based on a professional evaluation and rules of corporate governance.
Last night, ICBC also issued a statement, saying the bank's board had never made a decision to dispose of any of its 5.87 percent share in Waterland Financial.
ICBC spokesman Huang Chi-chang (黃淇漳) and head of public relations Chang Yen-shang (張艷珊) said they were not clear if Chao had discussed the matter with the lender's officials.
Chao and his family are suspected of insider trading in Taiwan Development shares.