Fri, Apr 30, 2010 - Page 12 News List

FSC sets deadline for review of banks’ China proposals

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Financial Supervisory Commission plans to complete its regulatory review of China-bound applications submitted by more than six domestic banks within the next two months, commission chairman Sean Chen (陳冲) told the legislature yesterday.

The domestic banks include Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫), Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行), Chang Hwa Bank (彰化銀行), Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行), First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) and Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行), which have applied to establish branches in China, Chen told the legislature’s Finance Committee yesterday morning.

If the commission grants its approval, these six banks must then be approved by the Chinese financial regulator before they can set up branches there, the chairman said when asked whether the banks would be able to establish branches in China before the end of the year.

Taiwan Business Bank (台灣企銀) has also applied to set up a representative office in China, Chen added.

Lin Tung-liang (林棟樑), deputy director of the commission’s Banking Bureau, later said that Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中信銀) has also applied to set up a subsidiary in China.

The bank’s board late on Wednesday approved a proposal to set up a wholly owned subsidiary in Shanghai with initial capital of 3.2 billion yuan (US$468.7 million), its parent Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) said in an exchange filing.

At the same time, First Securities Inc (第一金證券), Fuh Hwa Securities Investment Trust Co (復華投信) and Polaris International Securities Investment Trust Co (寶來投信) have also applied to set up representative offices in China, Lee Chi-hsien (李啟賢), deputy director-general of the commission’s Securities and Futures Bureau, told a media briefing yesterday afternoon.

BAD LOANS

The commission yesterday also released its latest statistics on the domestic banking sector’s asset quality, which showed a slight improvement. The ratio of non-performing loans averaged 1.07 percent last month, down 0.06 percentage points from February, the figures show.

Thirty-seven banks lent a total of NT$1.86 trillion (US$59 billion) last month, down by NT$24 billion from the previous month, with a coverage ratio of 97.06 percent, its data found.

Chinfon Commercial Bank (慶豐銀行) continued to have the highest bad-loan ratio, at 18.31 percent, while the remaining 36 banks maintained a ratio of below 5 percent, according to the commission.

DIVIDENDS

In other news, the board of First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) yesterday agreed to distribute a cash dividend of NT$0.50 and a stock dividend of 2.5 percent, its press statement said yesterday.

First Financial also plans to raise NT$9 billion via the issuance of unsecured corporate bonds, it said in another exchange filing.

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) on Wednesday said in an exchange filing that its board had approved a cash dividend of NT$2 and a stock dividend of 5 percent this year — the highest among its peers.

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