Mon, Dec 01, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan Cooperative okays merger talks

By Kevin Chen  /  STAFF REPORER

Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫銀行) authorized chairman Liu Teng-cheng (劉燈城) and president Lin Tien (林田) to conduct merger talks with other financial institutions, following its acquisition of smaller rival Farmers Bank of China (農民銀行) in 2006.

In a stock exchange filing on Friday, the nation’s second-largest lender by assets said it had made the decision following an ad hoc board meeting earlier that day.

“The bank has asked the board to give permission for the chairman and president to engage in merger talks with other financial institutions at an appropriate time and to carry out evaluations accordingly,” the filing said.

Taiwan Cooperative’s interest came after Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行) president Peter Lo (羅澤成) told lawmakers last week that the state-run bank was looking into the possibility of acquiring Chinfon Commercial Bank (慶豐銀行), with which Taiwan Cooperative has engaged in merger talks since 2001.

The Bank of Taiwan has been managing Chinfon Bank since late September after the debt-ridden lender was officially taken over by the Central Deposit Insurance Corp (CDIC, 中央存保) on Sept. 26.

Bank of Taiwan shifted its merger target to private lenders after the legislature passed a bill last month that rejected a proposal by the previous government to merge the bank with the Land Bank of Taiwan (士地銀行) and the Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China (中國輸出入銀行).

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