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Taiwan ex-Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin to head state-run financial holding company

Appointment will help Taiwan Financial Holdings expand SMEs and finance businesses

Former Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin.

Former Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) has been appointed to lead the country's only state-run financial holding company, Taiwan Financial Holdings (TFH), while his predecessor, Josephy Liu (呂桔誠), will continue to head the state-owned Bank of Taiwan following a cabinet reshuffle.

Shen took over the role Friday (Feb. 3), the day after Deputy Finance Minister Juan Ching-hwa (阮清華) confirmed the appointments.

Shen, a civil servant for over 40 years, served as economy minister from 2017 to 2020 and Industrial Development Bureau chief from 2012 to 2014.

Lauded for being energetic and goal-oriented, the 71-year-old is best known for his leadership role in getting mask-making manufacturers and machine makers to ramp up the daily capacity of surgical masks to 16 million in three months. This was an eightfold increase and met a surging demand for protective equipment when the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020.

Shen is also known for his strong interpersonal and communication skills. His appointment as the head of TFH has been described as a trump card for the state-run financial holdings group in developing SMEs and finance businesses.

Joseph Lu, a longtime banker and former finance minister, will head the Bank of Taiwan as president. The bank's annual profits saw a record high in 2022 and outperformed other state-owned bank peers under Lu.