Bank of Taiwan Plans to Open First Branch in Shanghai As Ties Improve

Bank of Taiwan plans to open a branch in Shanghai to offer banking services to Chinese clients.

The move will follow the establishment of yuan business in Hong Kong last year, bank Chairwoman Susan Chang told reporters today in Taipei.

Bank of Taiwan aims to accelerate its expansion in China after Taiwan’s government in March announced details of an accord to allow investment in financial companies across the Taiwan Strait, the latest agreement to underscore warming ties six decades after a civil war. Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou is seeking to deepen connections with the island’s biggest trading partner to bolster an economic recovery.

Taiwanese banks, insurers and stock and futures brokerages will each be allowed to invest in one Chinese counterpart and vice versa, the Financial Supervisory Commission said March 16. Domestic banks will be allowed to invest as much as 15 percent of their net worth in China, while mainland banks can set up representative offices and branches in Taiwan, or acquire a maximum 5 percent stake in Taiwanese counterparts.

In response to rising Chinese tourists in Taiwan, Taiwan will offer cash withdraw services to Chinese Unionpay cards through automated teller machines from 18 banks in Taiwan by the end the month, Chang said.

Separately, Taiwan Financial Holding Co., the parent of Bank of Taiwan, doesn’t have any share sale plan this year or next year, Chang said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chinmei Sung in Taipei at csung4@bloomberg.net.

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