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Sat, Feb 17, 2001 - Page 18 News List

Minister hints at another bank merger

By Stanley Chou  /  STAFF REPORTER

"Another bank merger could be announced in the near term," Minister of Finance Yen Ching-chang (顏慶章) said yesterday.

"Since the Financial Institution Merger Law was passed, any merger between private-sector banks is considered acceptable. The ministry is glad to see such autonomous mergers between these private-sector banks," said Yen.

The merger rumored yesterday is reportedly between Taishin International Bank (台新銀行) and Asia Pacific Bank (亞太銀行).

Yen said that, in the event of a merger between these banks, the ministry would give its complete support. Currently, the ministry is working on various mergers between the 12 state-controlled banks.

Yen also hinted that there should be another bank merger announced between state-controlled banks before June.

"If we must wait until June to announce another bank merger expectations would be too low," Yen said. "Currently, the bank merger between state-controlled banks is being done autonomously. But it would require some time to solve procedural problems. Besides promoting mergers between state-controlled banks, the ministry is currently working on the Financial Holding Company Law, which is expected to be passed around April or May," Yen said.

Yen was referring to the merger among Bank of Taiwan (台灣銀行), Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行), and Central Trust of China (中央信託局). The merger was initially dropped last year due to the fact that the banks were not fully incorporated. Pending passing of the holding company legislation, the ministry reportedly plans to go ahead with merging the three banks.

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