Taiwan's Fubon wins approval to buy China bank stake

TAIPEI, March 19 Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:27am EDT

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TAIPEI, March 19 (Reuters) - Taiwan's financial regulator has approved Fubon Financial Holding Co Ltd's acquisition of a Chinese bank, the first time it has given the green light for such a move.

Fubon's purchase of an 80 percent stake in China's Firstsino Bank, has been permitted, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) told reporters on Tuesday.

Fubon, parent of Taiwan's No.2 life insurer, said in December it would pay 6.45 billion yuan ($1.03 billion) for the stake, the first such deal between banks from opposite sides of the Taiwan Strait.

The acquisition would be another sign that banking links between China and Taiwan are strengthening. Taiwan's financial companies are keen to tap the huge mainland market as trade ties between the former political foes boom, helping them move beyond a saturated domestic market. (Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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