Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), Taiwan’s second-largest financial services provider by assets, yesterday denied irregularity charges over its acquisition of Taipei Bank (台北銀行) and threatened to take legal action against accusers.
The denial came after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) repeatedly questioned President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) integrity based on the acquisition of Taipei Bank by Fubon Financial in 2002 when Ma was mayor of Taipei.
“We regret the volley of charges over the acquisition, that are inaccurate but have hurt the company’s image,” the conglomerate said in a statement.
In the statement, Fubon Financial said it was the parent company rather than its banking unit that bought the municipal lender.
The parent firm had a net worth of NT$101.2 billion (US$3.34 billion) in June 2002, higher than Taipei Bank’s net worth of NT$45.6 billion, rendering the charge of a smaller lender acquiring a larger peer unfounded, the statement said.
Furthermore, Fubon Financial won Taipei Bank by offering the highest bid of NT$36 per share, beating four other contestants including Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), the statement said.
The Taipei City Government has benefited from the share transfer as seen in enlarged equities whose market value rose from NT$26.1 billion in 2002 to NT$40.9 billion this quarter despite an acute correction, the statement said.