State-owned Taiwan Financial Holding Co (台灣金控) will continue efforts to deepen its presence in China and other Asian markets despite a chairmanship reshuffle that saw Vice Minister of Finance William Tseng (曾銘宗) take top spot at the company, senior executives said yesterday.
Tseng took the helm of Taiwan Financial yesterday, saying he will do his best to strengthen the company’s performance regardless of how long his tenure lasts.
“I will give my best to the job whether it is a marathon or a short race,” he said.
Tseng is to retain his No. 2 position at the ministry, with Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) making it clear that he has no intention of finding a new deputy.
Tseng replaced Liu Teng-cheng (劉燈城), who had assumed the chairmanship of Hua Nan Financial Holding Co (華南金控) a few hours earlier.
The vice minister said he will run Taiwan Financial guided by the principles of stability, innovation and differentiation, meaning that he will try to shore up risk controls and diversify product lines.
To that end, Tseng said he will meet with different union and association representatives as soon as possible to better understand his duties as chairman.
The unlisted conglomerate posted a pre-tax income of more than NT$5 billion (US$166 million) in the first six months of the year, and may double that figure by the end of the year, Liu said in a brief farewell speech before leaving the company.
Taiwan Financial should strive to become more international and adhere to its plan to set up a banking subsidiary in China by next year or 2015 to tap the consumer banking market there, Liu said.
The company’s banking arm, Bank of Taiwan (BOT, 台灣銀行), is scouting for locations for its second branch in China, after opening one in Shanghai, he added.
Under Liu’s stewardship, BOT outbid domestic rivals last year to win the rights to act as an intermediary to supply New Taiwan dollars in China.
“It was quite a feat when bank notes bearing the country’s name first arrived in China,” Liu said.
BOT also plans to establish branches in Vietnam, Cambodia and in other Asian markets, he said.
While the financial sector faces challenges this year, Taiwan Financial should fare better compared with last year, he said.
Turning to Hua Nan Financial, Liu said that the company’s main subsidiary, Hua Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行) has put a halt to plans to invest in China’s Fujian Haixia Bank (福建海峽銀行) due to pricing differences.
The state-run lender had been in partnership talks with its Chinese peer for two years in the hope of expanding across the Taiwan Strait.