Taiwan Seeks Banking Pact With China

From The Wall Street Journal:

Taiwan’s government expects negotiations with Beijing to enable as many as a dozen Taiwanese banks to begin operating next year in China, offering a new but potentially risky opportunity for one of Asia’s largest sectors, the island’s chief financial regulator said in an interview.

Sean Chen, chairman of Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission, said on Monday that talks with China are proceeding toward an expected agreement sometime in the first half of 2009 on liberalizing banking ties between the two long-time rivals.

The talks are part of a broader détente under Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, who took office in May, that already has seen the end of a decades-old ban on direct air travel and shipping across the Taiwan Strait.

A deal would give Taiwan’s lenders access to a market they long have coveted — although at a time when China’s economy is slowing sharply from the double-digit growth it has enjoyed in recent years.



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