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Ting Hsin submits application for TFCC share sale

Ting Hsin submits application for TFCC share sale

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) Taiwan's Investment Commission said Wednesday that it has received an application from Ting Hsin International Group to sell its shares in the Taipei Financial Center Corp. (TFCC), which operates the Taipei 101 skyscraper, to a Malaysian conglomerate. Ting Hsin had announced on Dec. 6 that it had cut a NT$25.1 billion (US$793.3 million) deal with IOI Properties Group Bhd to dispose of its 37.1 percent stake in the TFCC. While IOI had submitted its application on Dec. 19 to buy the TFCC shares, Ting Hsin, as the seller, did not send its application until Wednesday. The Commission said, however, said that the paperwork received from Ting Hsin is inadequate and the application will not be reviewed until the required information has been supplied. The Ting Hsin application amounted to only two or three pages and did not include the required purchasing agreement contract, the commission said. It said Ting Hsin also failed to explain in its application the methods it employed to determine the price of its TFCC stake, and its plans for disposal of the proceeds from the sale. As for IOI, it did not supply a full list of its shareholders and financial backers, the commission said. It explained that Taiwan regulators would have to verify whether the Malaysian company includes any Chinese shareholders or financial backers, as they are not yet permitted to invest in real estate in Taiwan. "Even a 0.1 percent Chinese presence in a foreign investment entity's shareholder composition will be heavily scrutinized," the commission said. Meanwhile, according to IOI's original application, NT$700 million in cash will be put forward and the remaining NT$24.4 billion will be obtained through loans from Taiwan banks. The proposal has been criticized by Lee Jih-chu, chairwoman of Taiwan's bankers association, who said she had misgivings about the proposed high use of leverage. The commission said IOI has yet to supply a list of banks that have agreed to provide the loans. Sources close to the deal said that IOI had submitted additional documents to the commission during the past two days. The commission said it plans to issue formal notices to IOI and Ting Hsin on Jan. 5 next year. If the two companies fail to supply the required information within two weeks of receiving the notice, the transaction application will be rejected, it said. Once all the required documents are been received, however, the review process may be completed in about two months, the commission said. (By Huang Chiao-wen and Ted Chen)