Fri, Jul 17, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Shin Kong Life to keep stake in TFCC

HOLDING ON The Ministry of Finance also reiterated yesterday that the government would not offload its 44 percent stake in TFCC, the company that operates Taipei 101

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Shin Kong Life Insurance (新光人壽) said yesterday it would not sell its stake in Taipei Financial Center Corp (TFCC, 台北金融大樓公司), which owns Taipei 101, a day after Ting Hsin International Group (頂新集團) acquired more shares in TFCC.

“There is no way the company will sell its stake [in TFCC] when others are vying to buy,” Shin Kong Life president Pan Po-tseng (潘柏錚) said on the sidelines of a forum.

Shin Kong holds a stake of more than 3.25 percent.

Ting Hsin, which operates the biggest instant noodle maker in China and runs Wei Chuan Foods Corp (味全食品) in Taiwan, on Wednesday bought a 2.5 percent stake from Taipei-based China Life Insurance Co (中國人壽) for NT$481 million (U$14.6 million).

That brought Ting Hsin’s stake in TFCC to 22 percent. It bought a 19.51 percent stake from China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控) for NT$3.735 billion a week earlier.

Ting Hsin chairman Wei Ing-chou (魏應州) said TFCC was an attractive investment and his group hoped to acquire more shares.

The group will invest between NT$30 billion and NT$50 billion in Taipei commercial property, newspapers reported yesterday, citing Wei.

But Ting Hsin’s ambition may be difficult to realize.

Shin Kong, the nation’s third-largest insurer, is increasing its investment in prime commercial properties with stable returns, Pan said.

The insurer set aside NT$40 billion for real estate investment, of which NT$35 billion remains following the purchase of two buildings in Neihu District (內湖) last year, he said.

Shin Kong owns nine buildings in the district and plans to purchase more, he said.

The Ministry of Finance, which oversees national properties, restated yesterday that the government would not sell its 44 percent stake in TFCC.

Minister of Finance Lee Sush-der (李述德) also said Wei and his brother had paid a call to the ministry on Wednesday, but they had not discussed the lineup of the TFCC board.

Lee has said the government would retain its control of TFCC and other properties to strengthen the national treasury and contribute to public construction.

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