Sat, May 24, 2008 - Page 12 News List

SinoPac's Paul Lo to retire from post

By Kevin Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

SinoPac Holdings Co (永豐金控) chief executive officer and president Paul Lo (盧正昕) will retire from his post after the company holds its annual shareholders meeting next month, although the market is speculating that his departure has something to do with the company's growing losses in structured investment vehicles (SIVs).

In a statement released yesterday, SinoPac Holdings said Lo would also quit his position as chief financial officer of SinoPac Holdings and chairman of Bank SinoPac (永豐銀行), as the 64-year-old Lo is approaching his retirement age, the statement said.

SinoPac Holdings said its board approved Lo’s retirement application yesterday and will appoint a replacement for him from the financial industry soon after the June 6 meeting, chairman Ho Show-chuan (何壽川) said in the statement.

Ho praised Lo for his efforts in expanding the lender over the past six years into a financial group with NT$1 trillion (US$33 billion) in total capital and 8,000 employees.

But the market has long speculated that Lo would one day take responsibility for Bank SinoPac’s exposure to SIVs in relation to the US subprime mortgage crisis.

Bank SinoPac reported a net loss of NT$500 million last year after writing down 46 percent of its NT$12.6 billion portfolio in credit derivatives (largely SIVs). In comparison, it reported a net profit of NT$2.5 billion in 2006.

Lo will continue on as a board member of SinoPac Holdings and serving as chairman of Far East National Bank, as the company needs Lo to take charge of a plan to dispose of this US banking subsidiary, the statement said.

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