FSC meets with finance firms to talk expansion in Asia
By John Liu, The China Post
February 19, 2014, 12:13 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Executives of 16 domestic financial holding companies are invited to a summit meeting on Tuesday with Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Tseng Ming-chung (曾銘宗) to discuss subjects regarding their overseas acquisitions and investments.
The FSC held a meeting yesterday, with another planned for today, to deliberate on issues related to domestic financial companies' efforts to “break into Asia.” The purpose of the two-day meeting is to assist financial companies in expanding their business. Through the meetings, the FSC intends to solicit feedback from major players in the industry before easing constraints and launching more simplified review measures to assist their expansion efforts.
Sources said the FSC is considering lifting the cap limit on the amount of fund insurance companies are allowed to utilize in their overseas acquisition. In addition, the FSC may allow insurance companies to invest in foreign banks in the future.
According to government officials, financial holding companies that own insurance business groups possess the most abundant capital, and consequently they are more capable of breaking into the Asian market. As such, it is critical to remove constraints limiting their ability to engage in overseas investments and acquisitions.
The current regulation stipulates that securities companies may only invest an amount equivalent to 40 percent of their net worth. However, many financial companies hope the government will raise the percentage limit so their acquisition efforts overseas can go smoothly.
FSC Active to Expand into Asia
Since his inauguration, Tseng has been actively promoting domestic financial firms to bring about their overseas expansion. He has stressed the importance of quickly positioning banks, securities firms, investment firms and insurance firms into the Asian market. The FSC believes that domestic and international acquisitions may proceed simultaneously.
Tseng has instructed the FSC's banking, insurance and securities sectors to start a review process of current regulations, checking rules that may hamper domestic firms from conducting business overseas. The FSC intends to relax any rules that limit financial companies' ability to conduct business overseas that includes setting up offices and engaging in acquisitions and investment.
The FSC plans to invite an additional 16 players in the securities, investment trust and futures industries tomorrow to deliberate similar issues before rolling out new policies that may assist their future development.
The fact that FSC commissioner Tseng plays a lead role in these meetings indicates how important Tseng regards of this “breaking into Asia” effort.