ING likely to miss Chang Hwa GDR issue

TAIPEI, Taiwan, The China Post Staff

As the major foreign strategic partner of Chang Hwa Bank, the ING Group originally planned to acquire all the global depositary receipts (GDR) the Chang Hwa Bank had supposedly planned to issue within this year, but it recently changed its mind when it found Chang Hwa Bank looking for other buyers.

After having worked with Chang Hwa Bank as its strategic partner for bank restructuring since March 2003, the ING Group is very familiar with Chang Hwa Bank’s operations and its growth potential in the future. When Chang Hwa Bank started planning to raise capital from the international market through releasing 1.4 million shares, roughly 22 percent of all its outstanding shares, as the means of GDR issue two years ago, ING Group expressed its interest in acquiring all GDR to expand its shareholdings in the bank, possibly to exceed 50 percent after the GDR acquisition.

Observing the insider trading flaws found in the GDR issue of the First Bank last year, the regulatory agencies recently required Chang Hwa Bank not to sell all these GDRs to the ING Group, but to look for other buyers. Such requirements have influenced ING’s interest in buying these GDRs and may lead to a delay of the GDR issue.

Chang Hwa Bank, however, published a press release yesterday, saying that its GDR project is proceeding based on the original schedule.