Fri, Sep 07, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Yuanta wins bid to develop land in central Taipei

DRAMATIC TWIST:Nan Shan Life had declared victory, but Yuanta Bank contested it, saying it had offered a higher bid, which the auctioneer confirmed

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Yuanta Commercial Bank (元大銀行) has won the superfices right to a plot of state-owned land in central Taipei, beating major domestic life insurers with a premium rarely seen in recent years.

The banking arm of Yuanta Financial Holding Co (元大金控) on Monday won the 70-year lease from the National Treasury Administration (NTA) to develop the 1,139.52 ping (3,767m2) plot in Daan District (大安) for NT$8.21 billion (US$266.54 million), 1.23 times higher than the floor price.

The bidding results raised many eyebrows because Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) had declared victory with a NT$7.56 billion offer before Yuanta Bank lodged a protest, saying it had made a higher offer.

The NTA paused to verify the results and confirmed that Yuanta had won.

FAILED DELIVERY

The postal office failed to deliver Yuanta’s bidding document, which the company had mailed last week ahead of the Monday afternoon deadline, NTA official Tseng Kuo-chi (曾國基) said.

The auction also drew bids from Fubon Life Insurance Co (富邦人壽), Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) and Transglobe Life Insurance Co (全球人壽).

The plot on Renai Road right across Howard Plaza Hotel (福華飯店) is the site of a former hostel for military personnel.

Yuanta Bank said it intends to turn the plot into its own headquarters to meet office space demand after integrating Ta Chong Bank’s (大眾銀行) operations in January.

The merger has created synergy, allowing Yuanta Financial to rank fourth in terms of profitability among its peers and turning Yuanta Bank into a profit driver in addition to its brokerage business.

NEW OFFICE BUILDING

Yuanta Financial said it would need an additional 10,000 ping of office space and it would be able to build 12,000 ping on the lot under the development terms.

The new complex would be its fourth office building — with the other three on Dunhua S Road, Minsheng E Road and Nanjing E Road, all situated within short distances of each other.

The conglomerate said it used to hold its shareholders’ meetings on the site and likes the location very much.

The bidding results also surprised real-estate analysts.

REPro Knight Frank researcher Andy Huang (黃舒衛) said Yuanta Bank’s offer represented the highest among commercial property deals this year with a premium rarely seen for years.

That should inject confidence into the market, which is to see the auction of a shopping mall in Songshan District (松山) in December.

The mall’s owner, Core Pacific City Co (京華城), has set a floor price of NT$38 billion for the retail complex.

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