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Lead story:

AFTER THE CRISIS
Getting Rid of the Rust: Three years after the Crisis, many in the Asiaweek Financial 500 are in the black. Will profitability last?

NATIONS UPDATE
Mini-charts on your nation's banking market:
Australia China IndonesiaJapanPhilippinesSingaporeSouth KoreaTaiwan Thailand Hong Kong Malaysia
and the best performing banks in India Sri LankaPakistanBangladesh

ASIA'S HOTTEST STOCKS

Money and Investing: Riding the hottest financial stocks in Asia (plus the 100 hottest bank stocks)

PLUS
Foreign Invasion?: Overseas banks go slow on buyouts
Technology: The nitty gritty of Internet banking
Halfway at full speed: Hong Kong and Singapore rebound
The Acquired: What Danu Bank learned form its new owner
The Home-Alone Bank: Why Taiwan's Chinatrust didn't expand


Financial 500 Archive
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1996 | 1995


Asiaweek 1000
Your guide to Asia's 1000 largest companies

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Taiwan: They Were Doing So Well
Snapshot: 48 banks in the 500 (1999: 46) Assets: $578.3b. ($537.9b.) Profits: $2.1b. ($3.3b.)


Taiwan banks were never burdened with the magnitude of bad loans faced by counterparts in South Korea or Southeast Asia. That was then. Now, NPLs from "old economy" sectors are rising. Last year, Moody's Investor Services rated no Taiwan banks as low as D or E in terms of financial soundness. This year five brought home such poor marks. The basic problem: Too many banks chasing too few good customers.

RESTRUCTURING Taipei wants some larger state-owned banks to merge, but it would take ultra-sensitive time-lapse photography to catch hints of consolidation. That could change within the next 12 months.

LENDING Loan growth remains lower than earlier forecasts despite robust economic growth. For some, capital markets are a better bet.

REGULATION Foreign banks are still not allowed to buy local banks and their branch networks are restricted. But ambitions to make the island a financial center could encourage looser laws.


Performance Topnotchers: 10 Best Performing Banks
   Institution  HQ
Assets
$ Mill
Profits
$ Mill
Profit as % of

500

Rank

Assets Equity
1
BANK OF TAIWAN Taipei 64,198 231.4 0.4% 4.0% 31
2
TAIWAN COOPERATIVE BANK Taipei 48,107 152.0 0.3% 9.4% 47
3
LAND BANK OF TAIWAN Taipei 43,406 232.1 0.5% 10.1% 50
4
FIRST COMMERCIAL BANK Taipei 36,492 189.6 0.5% 7.4% 61
5
HUA NAN COMMERCIAL BANK Taipei 34,156 164.6 0.5% 7.0% 65
6
CHANG HWA COMMERCIAL BANK Taipei 33,126 130.3 0.4% 6.1% 67
7
TAIWAN BUSINESS BANK Taipei 26,109 116.4 0.4% 7.3% 86
8
INTL. COML. BANK OF CHINA Taipei 22,170 149.4 0.7% 8.4% 98
9
CHINATRUST COMMERCIAL BANK Taipei 19,856 150.5 0.8% 9.3% 108
10
UNTD. WORLD CHINESE COML. BANK Taipei 19,183 197.3 1.0% 10.5% 114

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Rating show the number of banks in each category; "E" is the lowest grade for financial soundness. Souce: Moody's Investors Service


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