Ex-minister named Chang Hwa chair

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fri, Jun 22, 2007 - Page 12

Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控), the nation's second-largest financial group by assets, confirmed yesterday that former finance minister Lee Yung-san (李庸三) will chair its subsidiary Chang Hwa Bank (彰化銀行) and hopes to complete the merger by the end of this year.

Chang Hwa said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that institutional board member Taishin Financial appointed Lee as its new representative. The appointment took effect yesterday.

"It is a confirmed plan that Lee will be the next chairman of Chang Hwa," Taishin Financial spokesperson Carol Lai (賴昭吟) said.

The bank's former chairman, Chang Po-shin (張伯欣), offered to step down unexpectedly last week.

Lee is a perfect candidate with sufficient seniority and reputation and the merger plan "remains on schedule," Lai said.

Chang Hwa is scheduled to hold a board meeting to select a new standing board member and new chairman next Friday.

"It will not take long to start merger work on hiring a financial adviser to evaluate a share swap as the first step," bank spokesman James Shih (施建安) said yesterday.

It is unlikely, however, that Taishin Financial can swap shares with Chang Hwa at the 1-to-1 ratio that the company wants considering its share price and book value differences, Shih said, adding that certain lawmakers and members of the public would not agree to this either.