Tue, Nov 11, 2014 - Page 13 News List

CTBC may raise Taipei 101 stake

TOP OF THE WORLD:The financial holding company is mulling increasing its 7 percent stake in Taipei Financial Center Corp if Ting Hsin is forced to unload its shares

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控) yesterday said it was interested in expanding its stake in Taipei Financial Center Corp (TFCC, 台北金融大樓公司), amid mounting pressure on major stakeholder Ting Hsin International Group (頂新國際集團) to unload its shares.

The bank-focused conglomerate made the remarks after its quarterly investors’ conference, where it reported that net income in the first nine months of the year reached NT$37.29 billion (US$1.22 billion), or NT$2.44 per share.

That represents a jump of 104 percent from the same period last year, mainly due to its acquisition of Japan’s Tokyo Star Bank Ltd in the second quarter, which contributed to its sales and profit momentum.

CTBC Financial president Daniel Wu (吳一揆) said the holding company is interested in Ting Hsin’s 37.17 percent stake in Taipei Financial, the operator of the Taipei 101 skyscraper.

“We will consider and evaluate the feasibility, if they [Ting Hsin] really plan to sell their shares,” Wu told reporters.

CTBC Financial currently holds 7 percent of TFCC, making it the third largest after the Ministry of Finance and Ting Hsin.

The financial holding firm and its banking unit, CTBC Bank Co Ltd (中國信託銀行), have about NT$1.88 billion in outstanding loans to firms to the Ting Hsin group of companies, including Wei Chuan Foods Corp (味全食品).

Wu said the company would not call in Ting Hsin’s debts early and would re-evaluate them after the due date.

CTBC is still looking for merger-and-acquisition opportunities to expand its market in China and Southeast Asia, Wu said, adding that he hoped the legislature would soon pass a proposed service trade agreement with China to boost the nation’s competitiveness.

SinoPac Financial Holdings Co (永豐金控) spokesman Michael Chang (張晉源) shared Wu’s views.

SinoPac Financial’s latest move to increase its capital by NT$6.6 billion was to support its merger and acquisition activities, with Taiwanese companies potential targets, Chang said.

The firm said it hopes a private placement plan to sell part of the shares of its banking subsidiary, Bank SinoPac (永豐銀行), to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC, 中國工商銀行), would be approved if the service trade pact is passed.

SinoPac Financial posted a net income of NT$11.17 billion, or earnings per share of NT$1.26, for the first nine months of the year, an increase of 34.1 percent from the same period last year, company data showed.

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