Wed, Jun 27, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Bowa Bank takeover not expected soon

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Although its unaudited book value reportedly turned negative last month, Bowa Bank (寶華銀行) may linger for a while without being taken over by the government anytime soon.

A negative book value conventionally triggers government takeover of troubled banks in Taiwan, and Bowa is one of the three lenders that remain blacklisted by the government on suspicion of having a negative book value.

"We will refer to the audited figures reported by public certified accountants when considering possible action against Bowa," Lin Tung-liang (林棟樑), secretary-general of the Financial Supervisory Commission's banking bureau, said yesterday.

Companies usually publish their first-half financial statements by the end of August, commission secretary-general Austin Chan (詹庭禎) said.

However, both Lin and Chan refused to link the timeframe to a takeover of Bowa.

Bowa yesterday approved a plan to raise NT$8 billion (US$244 million) at its annual general meeting as a way to improve its financial structure. The lender said it remained in talks with interested investors.

The bank incurred a deficit of NT$2 billion on net worth of NT$41 billion in the first four months of the year, the bureau's data show.

The commission said it would look into Bowa's sale of its defaulted loan assets.

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