Sat, Apr 18, 2009 - Page 12 News List

FSC sticks to guns in ruling against Singfor Insurance

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Financial Supervisory Commission yesterday appeared to maintain its primary ruling that Singfor Life Insurance Co (幸福人壽) had violated insurance laws after it placed a winning bid in the auction for a plot of D3 land in Xinyi district (信義區).

“Based on the company’s submission of board documents, [the commission’s] primary understanding is that [the life insurer’s] participation in the property auction had violated the commission’s Jan. 6 order … that [the company] was prohibited from investing in any new properties if it failed to liquidate three [adjacent] plots of land it owns,” the commission said in a press release.

The commission in January imposed a NT$4 million (US$118,000) fine on Singfor Life because the firm had acquired the three plots of land with excess capital.

The commission yesterday accused Singfor Life of failing to seek regulatory approval before placing a bid on the “new” D3 property even though the life insurer said it was only bidding on the land for a China-based Taiwanese businessman, the statement said.

Commission chairman Sean Chen (陳沖) yesterday accused Singfor of “arrogance and negligence” in failing to follow the financial regulator’s earlier instructions, local media reported.

Singfor Life on Thursday won the bid to acquire the land for NT$2.818 billion — a 54 percent price premium, on behalf of buyer Chen Chung-ming (陳忠明), head of Jinxiang Construction Co (金享建設), which is based in China.

The life insurer yesterday said that there were no irregularities during its transfer of the properties, including the three adjacent plots of land, to Jinxiang and it was obliged to place bids as its earlier contract with Citibank Taiwan (花旗銀行) stipulated, the statement said.

Singfor Life yesterday urged the financial regulator to be open-minded and welcome the interest expressed by Chen and all China-based Taiwanese businessmen in acquiring local properties.

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