Tue, Feb 10, 2009 - Page 12 News List

China’s largest bank denies Mega story

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Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd (中國工商銀行), China’s largest bank, denied a media report that it may buy a stake in Taiwan’s Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控).

“We’ve never heard of such a plan,” Gu Shu (谷澍), a Beijing- based board secretary of Industrial & Commercial Bank said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The company and Bank of China Ltd (中國銀行), the nation’s third-largest bank, are interested in buying shares in Mega Financial, which may itself invest in the Chinese lenders, the Taipei-based Economic Daily News reported on Friday, without saying where it got the information.

Grace Lin (林瑞雲), a spokeswoman for Mega Financial, said yesterday that there had been interest from the Chinese lenders and that the companies were in preliminary talks about cooperating.

But there won’t be any details on what form this may take until the governments of Taiwan and China sign a memorandum of understanding on financial cooperation between the two economies, Lin said.

Wang Zhaowen (王兆文), a Beijing-based spokesman for Bank of China, wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Top officials from Industrial & Commercial Bank, Bank of China and other Chinese financial institutions traveled with China’s top Taiwan envoy Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) when he visited the nation on a five-day trip in early November.

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