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May 29, 2017

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CTBC's US$890 million acquisition of Taiwan Life Insurance approved

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- On Monday, the financial regulator approved CTBC Financial Holdings' (中信金控) US$890 million acquisition of Taiwan Life Insurance (台灣人壽), a deal expected to help CTBC diversify beyond the island's crowded banking market.

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday announced the approval of CTBC's all-stock acquisition of Taiwan Life. Amid the market expectation that the deal would get an approval, Taiwan Life shares surged 6.88 percent, or NT$1.65, to NT$25.65 while CTBC dropped 1.29 percent, or NT$0.25, to NT$19.1.

Before the FSC announced the approval, the Commercial Times of Taiwan had reported that FSC Chairman Tseng Ming-tsung (曾銘宗) would hold an internal meeting to review the Taiwan Life plan and a green light could be expected on Monday.

Both CTBC and Taiwan Life agreed to the all-stock deal in October, with their contract expiring in April. Taiwan Life has said it would not extend the contract if the deal failed to gain regulatory approval.

The deal is expected to help CTBC, the parent company of Taiwan's biggest credit card issuer CTBC Bank (中信銀), extend its market reach overseas.

FSC had earlier last week approved a plan by CTBC Bank to buy Tokyo Star Bank for an equivalent of US$53 billion in the first takeover of a Japanese commercial lender by a foreign bank.

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