Tue, Apr 03, 2012 - Page 11 News List

EnTie shares jump on sale rumor

Staff writer, with CNA

Shares of EnTie Commercial Bank (安泰銀行) staged a rally yesterday on market speculation that its majority shareholder plans to unload its stake for NT$24 per share, dealers said.

The high asking price gave an indication of the stock’s potential price trend and encouraged investors to add it to their portfolios, they said. Shares in EnTie Bank closed up 7 percent, the maximum daily increase allowed, to close at NT$15.3, with 927,000 shares changing hands.

The benchmark weighted index ended down 0.88 percent at 7,862.90. The stock rose sharply immediately after the market opened on rumors that the Longreach Group, which holds an almost 60 percent stake in EnTie Bank, was asking potential buyers for a selling price of NT$24 per share.

With strong buying interest, the stock traded at NT$15.3 throughout the session, dealers said. Longreach Group, an international private equity fund, led a -consortium of -investors to acquire a stake in EnTie Bank in November 2007, according to the bank’s Web site.

EnTie Bank declined to comment on the speculation over the Longreach Group’s plans.

In recent trading sessions, several small and medium-sized banks, including EnTie Bank, Cosmos Bank (萬泰銀行) and TC Bank (大眾銀行), have outperformed the local financial sector because of expectations they will be acquired by potential suitors.

Market analysts said EnTie Bank was a financially healthy institution, with a core capital adequacy ratio of almost 10 percent, and has been more profitable than Cosmos Bank and TC Bank.

Last year, EnTie Bank posted NT$1.31 in earnings per share, up from the NT$1.19 recorded a year earlier. It has proposed issuing a NT$0.6 cash dividend for last year.

At the end of last year, EnTie Bank’s non-performing loan ratio stood at 0.34 percent, lower than the 0.43 percent rate averaged by the nation’s banking system.

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