CTBC set to get nod for Taiwan Life purchase, Taiwan Life stock jumps

TAIPEI, April 21 Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:06pm EDT

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TAIPEI, April 21 (Reuters) - Taiwan's financial regulator is set to approve CTBC Financial Holdings' $890 million acquisition of Taiwan Life Insurance as soon as Monday, local media reported, sending the insurer's stock surging 6.9 percent.

The insurer's shares had slid 6.9 percent on Thursday and lost another 1.8 percent on Friday after the country's Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said it would halt its review of the acquisition, without giving further details.

The FSC had earlier last week given its approval to a separate plan by CTBC to purchase Japan's Tokyo Star Bank for 53 billion yen ($530 million).

The Commercial Times reported that FSC Chairman William Tseng will hold an internal meeting to review the Taiwan Life plan and a greenlight is expected.

An FSC official said the FSC will hold a monthly meeting later today, but declined to elaborate. CTBC and Taiwan Life officials were not immediately available for comment.

Both companies agreed to the all-stock deal in October, with their contract expiring in April. Taiwan Life has said it would not extend the contract if the deal failed to gain regulatory approval.

The deal is expected to help CTBC, parent of Taiwan's biggest credit card issuer, diversify beyond the island's crowded banking market.

(Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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