Tue, Oct 14, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Asia Trust buyers finalize deals with financial regulator

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The buyers of Asia Trust and Investment Corp (亞洲信託), which was taken over by the nation’s financial regulator in January, inked deals with the government yesterday.

Sunil Kaushal, president and chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank in Taiwan, which took control of the troubled lender in return for NT$3.348 billion (US$104 million) from the government, said the acquisition made the UK bank the largest foreign presence in the nation’s banking market.

“The deal is a demonstration of our commitment to Taiwan, located in a strategically important place in north Asia,” Kaushal said. “We look to pursue greater prosperity after the acquisition.”

Chu Ping-yu (朱炳昱), chairman of Taiwan Life Insurance Co (台灣人壽), which acquired Asia Trust’s Taipei headquarters for NT$3.03 billion, said the building was a bargain and it would be turned into the insurer’s operations center in northern Taiwan.

Chu said his company first sought to buy the building last year, but had balked at a price that was around NT$3.7 billion to NT$3.8 billion.

Chu also expressed interest in buying the real estate properties of ChinFon Commercial Bank (慶豐銀行), also taken over by the financial regulator last month and which will be auctioned off later this year.

Revival Asset Management Corp (力興資產), a subsidiary of Taiwan Asset Management Corp (台灣金聯資產公司), bought Asia Trust’s impaired assets for NT$707 million.

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