Fri, Apr 13, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Bank rebuts reports of involvement in Rebar Group affair

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Deutsche Bank yesterday issued a strongly worded statement rebutting widespread allegations linking it to the Rebar Asia Pacific Group (力霸亞太企業集團) embezzlement scandal.

"Deutsche Bank totally rejects any allegations of any improper conduct whatsoever in regard to its dealing with Asia Pacific Broadband Wireless Communications Ltd [APBW, 亞太行動寬頻] and Asia Pacific Broadband Telecommunications [APBT, 亞太固網]," the statement read.

Both APBW and APBT are subsidiaries of the debt-ridden Rebar Group.

Deutsche Bank regards recent accusations reported in the media as false, defamatory and grossly misleading, the statement said.

The statement came after Springfield Lai (賴春田), APBT's government-appointed acting chairman, questioned the legality of a NT$6.8 billion (US$205 million) loan to the fixed-line company arranged by the Bank's Taipei branch.

Lai told a press conference on Wednesday that the company might take legal action against the German bank, including a proposal to invalidate the lending contract within the next two to three weeks.

Last week, the Financial Supervisory Commission carried out a three-day ad hoc inspection of the German lender to investigate the allegations.

In response, Deutsche Bank said the terms and conditions of the loan in question were negotiated between it and the two companies in good faith and at arms-length over six months.

These negotiations involved many senior executives of the companies and their boards. The two firms were advised by independent legal advisers and the transactions were approved by both boards before the loan was set, the statement said.

The bank said the rate was in line with comparable market prices and properly reflected the level of risk undertaken by the lenders. All terms and conditions were properly documented and executed in line with market practice, it said.

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