Wed, Feb 15, 2012 - Page 12 News List

FSC set to review market access for Chinese firms

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff Reporter

Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Chen Yuh-chang (陳裕璋) said yesterday it would conduct a comprehensive review of suggestions to ease market access rules for financial institutions in Taiwan and China.

Chen made the statement after a closed-door meeting with heads of domestic financial holding companies, including Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) and Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控), which have pressed for greater opening of the local market to Chinese peers.

“The commission will conduct a thorough review before reaching a conclusion,” Chen told reporters. “Some issues, however, involve more government agencies, such as the Mainland Affairs Council and central bank.”

Most local financial groups voiced wishes that the -commission would raise the cap on investment by Chinese lenders from the current 5 percent to 20 percent to better motivate prospective investors, Banking Bureau Director-General Kuei Hsien-nung (桂先農) said.

While not ruling out the possibility of revision, Kuei reiterated that the 5 percent limit took effect on Jan. 2 and should be given more time for its impact to be seen.

The commission denied media reports the proposed opening could apply first to unlisted banking subsidiaries of financial holding firms, since a 20 percent stake by Chinese lenders would not weaken the majority control of their parent firms.

“The policy change at issue also entails cross-ministry discussions,” Kuei said. “We will refer the suggestion to the authorities concerned.”

There is no timetable on the planned review, he said.

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