Sun, Sep 11, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Minister explains Taiwan Business Bank bidding fiasco

BY JACKIE LIN  /  STAFF REPORTER

Minister of Finance Lin Chuan (林全) yesterday said the reason that bidding for the state-run Taiwan Business Bank (台灣企銀) produced no result on Friday was simply because the highest price offered fell short of the ministry's expectations.

He also refuted media reports and market speculation hinting at the possibility of an under-the-table deal, saying that no specific financial holding company has been chosen as the winner and that the final outcome of the matter will explain everything.

"The main problem [with Friday's bidding process] is that the highest price offered by the bidders was lower than expected," Lin told a room packed with reporters at the ministry building yesterday.

"The bank's employees' strike is one of the reasons for bidders' offering a lower price," he said.

Having just come back from the APEC meeting of finance ministers in South Korea earlier yesterday, Lin was prompted to call a press briefing as a flood of media reports had raised doubts over the share-sale deal.

However, he refused to confirm how many bidders participated in the tender and what the ministry's floor price was, citing confidentiality.

He said the floor price can be set in accordance with Taiwan Business Bank's closing share price on the bidding day, or its average stock price over the past 30, 60 or 120 days.

Taiwan Business Bank shares remained unchanged at NT$11.8 on Friday.

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