Chang Hwa picks ING

ING will put nine into Taiwan''s second biggest bank to restructure it and make it fit for a strategic foreign investor.

In a move that signals further potential for consolidation in its financial sector and a recognition of the competitive challenges of WTO, the second biggest Taiwanese bank has appointed ING Barings for a restructuring mandate.

Chang Hwa Bank last year appointed the Dutch investment bank to do some preliminary research on its future and has now appointed the bank as its full restructuring adviser. In doing so it has rejected the idea of setting up a financial holding company, and looks almost certain to be looking for a foreign investor.

Before a foreign investor will show any interest, ING Barings will have do a lot of work advising the bank on its IT systems, its approach to credit risk, and a whole host of other bank operational activities. ING will put nine of its staff into the bank to this end on a full time basis to advise the bank on a day-to-day basis.

In effect, ING is exporting its expertise in how to run a clean bank and this is fast turning into a bit of a speciality. Currently, it has 50 staff in Indonesia's Lippo Bank and four in Thailand's Siam Commercial Bank. It has also just completed a similar assignment for Korea Exchange Bank.