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Taiwan eyes more banking business in China: TWSE executive

2012/06/30 13:37:15

Shanghai, June 30 (CNA) An executive at the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) called for China to further open its market to Taiwan's banking sector in a bid to meet financing needs from many small- and medium-sized enterprises on the mainland.

TWSE President Samuel Hsu, who is also an associate professor with the Department of Finance at Taiwan's National Chengchi University, said many Taiwanese banks which are well experienced at extending loans to small- and medium-sized firms on the island could use their expertise to serve the business sector in China.

Speaking at a business forum held in Lujiazui, a financial district in Shanghai, Friday night, Hsu said as there is room for direct financing in China to grow, the presence of Taiwan's banks will provide financial assistance to many Chinese enterprises.

Hsu said as Taiwan has about 1.2 million small- and medium-sized companies, its banking sector has built up solid experiences in doing business, in particular in how to provide credits to these firms.

"If China allows more Taiwanese banks to provide services in its market, I am sure that the banks will be able to share their experiences with their Chinese counterparts and grow with the mainland market," Hsu said.

In addition to the banking business, Hsu urged Chinese financial authorities to relax regulations on investments in the securities and insurance businesses for Taiwanese operators.

Bank of China, one of the leading lenders on the mainland, opened a branch in Taipei earlier this week, making itself the first Chinese bank to operate in Taiwan, while Bank of Taiwan, the largest lender on the island, has not been allowed to open a branch in China.

Bank of Taiwan is eyeing the huge Chinese yuan denominated business and is gearing up to become the settlement bank once a currency settlement mechanism across the Taiwan Strait is established.

As Bank of Communications, another leading mainland lender, is scheduled to open a branch in Taipei in July, Hsu said, he expects cross-Taiwan Strait financial exchanges will increase accordingly.

Hsu said with economic cross-strait exchanges on the rise, bilateral trade between Taiwan and China totaled US$160 billion in 2011, and the accumulated Taiwanese investments on the mainland have exceeded US$100 billion.

He said Taiwan looks forward to more financial cooperation to forge a closer business with China, hoping Taipei and Beijing will sign a currency settlement agreement as soon as possible.

(By Cheng Chung-sheng and Frances Huang)