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Talk of the Day -- Taiwan, China swap favors ahead of meeting
Central News Agency
2013-03-27 10:35 PM
Top financial regulators from the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have exchanged favors in recent days as they will meet in Taipei next week, according to local media reports. Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) approved an application by China Construction Bank to open a branch in Taipei Tuesday. On the same day, the Beijing-based China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) gave the green light to the upgrading of the Taiwan Business Bank's liaison office in Shanghai to branch office. The mainland regulatory commission also gave the nod to applications by several Taiwanese banks' branches in China last week to operate Chinese yuan-denominated financial services, media reports said. Chang Kuo-ming, deputy director-general of the FSC's Banking Bureau, was quoted as saying that the two sides have tacitly agreed to speed up mutual financial market opening. The following are excerpts from local media coverage of relevant developments: Economic Daily News: China Construction Bank will be the third Chinese bank to open a branch in Taipei after Bank of China and Communication Bank of China did so last year. Another Chinese bank -- China Merchants Bank -- has set up a liaison office in Taipei, but it is not yet qualified for upgrading to a branch. China Construction Bank has operated a representative office in Taipei for a year to meet the requirement for it to upgrade the office to a branch. The Chinese bank has designated Li Guofu, the deputy chief of the bank's credit card department, to head its new Taipei branch. The bank must obtain the FSC's approval for business items its Taipei branch plans to offer once it completes preparations for its branch opening. If all goes well, the bank's Taipei branch will become operational in six months. Banking sources said Taiwan Business Bank had waited for more than a year to get China Banking Regulatory Commission's approval of the upgrading of its Shanghai office to a branch. A number of other Taiwanese banks are still waiting for Chinese regulators to approve their applications for either opening a second branch in China or for their subsidiary to open a branch there. Banking sources said Chinese authorities are unhappy with Taiwan's strict restrictions on Chinese banks' bid to acquire stakes in their Taiwanese counterparts. In retaliation, the sources said, Chinese banking regulators have been slow in approving local banks' applications for opening Chinese currency-denominated financial services or setting up branches. Local bankers said they hope Taiwanese and Chinese financial regulators will come to terms at their upcoming meeting on the proposal to raise the ceiling of stakes Chinese banks are allowed to acquire in Taiwanese banks to 20 percent from the current 5 percent. "We also look forward to seeing restrictions on branch opening can be largely eased," said a local banker who spoke on condition of anonymity. The banker said such liberalization measures will facilitate merger of local banking groups and stimulate local financial market growth. (March 27, 2013). Commercial Times: Taiwan Business Bank has selected a building on Shanghai's Kaixuan Road to house its Shanghai branch. The branch will initially focus on serving China-based Taiwanese companies, a bank official said. The bank has also acquired the FSC's approval of setting up a leasing company, he said, adding that the leasing company will make foray into the vast Chinese leasing market by either opening a branch or setting up a subsidiary in Shanghai or Suzhou. (March 27, 2013). (By Sofia Wu)
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