Taiwan's Jih Sun eyes stake in local insurer -paper

TAIPEI Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:23pm EST

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TAIPEI Jan 23 (Reuters) - A plan by Taiwan's Jih Sun Financial Holding Co to buy at least 25 percent of small local life insurer Transglobe Life is running into stiff opposition from Taiwan's financial regulators, the Commercial Times reported on Thursday.

Jih Sun, 35.5 percent-owned by a unit of Japan's Shinsei Bank, is keen to seal the purchase of the Transglobe stake after the Chinese New Year at the soonest, the paper said, citing unidentified industry sources.

But Taiwan's financial regulators oppose the deal, the paper said. Transglobe's major shareholders previously pledged to regulators that they wouldn't dispose of their holdings for at least seven years in return for approval of a debt-ridden rival.

Jih Sun and Transglobe officials were not immediately available for comment.

Taiwan's insurance market is dominated by several local players, including Cathay Life Insurance, making it difficult for smaller rivals to compete.

(Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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