Sat, May 13, 2017 - Page 12 News List

TAMC to redevelop state-run lender’s Taipei office

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Business Bank (TBB, 台灣企銀) yesterday signed an agreement with Taiwan Asset Management Co (TAMC, 台灣金聯資產管理) to redevelop the lender’s headquarters in Taipei and adjacent office buildings.

The agreement came as the two state-run firms joined forces to tap urban renewal projects and support the government’s efforts to enhance building safety and stimulate the economy.

“The joint venture allows TBB to increase an old asset’s value and TAMC to expand its business to urban renewal, as the nation’s pool of bad loans is shrinking,” TAMC communications official Liu Tain-tsai (劉添財) said by telephone.

The project would involve several plots of land on Taipei’s Chongqing S Road near the Taipei Railway Station covering an area of 617.71 ping (2,042m2), Liu said.

The lender’s 47-year-old office building accounts for 37.41 percent of the project, Liu said, adding that TAMC, the nation’s largest bad-loan operator, will need to obtain approval from 50 property owners in two adjacent office buildings.

About 80 percent of the owners have shown interest in the project, while the rest want to wait until they can learn more about it, Liu added.

Urban renewal projects take time, as owners often disagree with developers over the value of their property, among other things.

The government has promised preferential floor area ratios for urban renewal projects involving buildings older than 30 years as part of a plan to enhance building safety and help boost the economy.

TBB, which uses the building as a branch office, would benefit from a significant increase in the property’s value and overall assets, TBB chairman Robert Chu (朱潤逢) said.

TAMC plans to build a commercial building on the site, promising better safety standards and more public space, the company’s acting chairman S.M. Lin (林盛茂) said.

TBB and the other owners plan to keep the new space to themselves upon the project’s completion, likely within several years, Lin said.

“TAMC is patient, as it is experienced in disposing of bad assets under its management, which also takes a long time,” Lin said.

The company has arrived at a juncture where a shift in business focus is necessary amid dwindling bad loans, Lin said.

Urban renewal projects pose an opportunity after the Financial Supervisory Commission allowed local asset managers to take part in such ventures, Lin said.

The decline in the number of bad assets is the reason the firm plans to sell 60 residential and commercial properties this year, compared with a larger batch of 100 in the previous six years, Lin said.

TAMC is in talks with other state-run financial institutions to redevelop their old properties, Lin said, without elaborating.

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