Wed, May 27, 2015 - Page 13 News List

China CITIC to buy CTBC stake

STRATEGIC PARTNER:The deal would allow CTBC Bank to acquire a derivative products license and to apply for a permit to operate a retail yuan business in China

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控) yesterday said it plans to sell a 3.8 percent stake to China CITIC Bank Corp Ltd (中信銀行), a member of Chinese conglomerate CITIC Group (中國中信集團), via a private placement for about NT$13 billion (US$423.34 million).

At the same time, CTBC Financial plans to acquire a 100 percent stake in China CITIC Bank International (China) Ltd (中信銀行國際中國), an affiliate of China CITIC Bank with three branches in China, for NT$11.67 billion.

CITIC Bank International has 360,000 corporate finance customers in China.

“These plans will accelerate CTBC Financial’s pace of expansion in China,” CTBC Financial president Daniel Wu (吳一揆) told a media briefing, adding that CTBC Bank Co (中國信託銀行), the banking arm of CTBC Financial, would see faster development in China through the deals.

CTBC Bank operates about 100 offices around the world. In China, the bank is to expand its operations to six branches from three via the new deals and Wu said the bank hopes to catch up with DBS Bank (China) Ltd (星展銀行中國), which has more than 30 branches in China.

In addition, the deals with CITIC would allow CTBC Bank to immediately acquire a license to operate a derivative products business, as well as a chance to apply for a retail yuan business permit in China, Wu said.

That would enhance the bank’s consumer finance, wealth management and credit card businesses, he added.

Wu said selling a 3.8 percent stake to China CITIC Bank would help the company add a strategic partner for future potential business cooperation. The regulations allow Chinese firms to buy a stake of at most 4.99 percent in Taiwanese financial holding companies, meaning that China CITIC Bank could increase its investment in CTBC Financial in the long run, Wu said.

He said the company expects the deals to be finalized by the end of this year, after gaining approval from financial regulators on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

SinoPac Financial Holdings Co’s (永豐金控) decision to sell a 20 percent stake of its banking subsidiary, Bank SinoPac (永豐銀行), to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC, 中國工商銀行), is still under regulatory review and might only be approved once the cross-strait service trade agreement is ratified by the legislature.

Meanwhile, CTBC Financial is to establish a joint venture for consumer finance business in China with three Chinese companies — Huishang Bank Corp Ltd (徽商銀行), Gome Holdings Group (國美控股集團) and Hefei Department Store Group Co Ltd (合肥百貨大樓集團) — with the aim of developing its unsecured personal loan business.

The company is to hold a 35 percent stake in the joint venture, setting its paid-in capital at 1 billion yuan (US$161.2 million), with Huishang Bank and Gome Holdings each taking a 30 percent stake and Hefei Department Store Group the remaining 5 percent.

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