Taiwan's banks eye wider regional role

Amendments to the island's Banking Act have freed up capital and provided Taiwanese financial holding companies with the impetus to go forth and multiply.

Cross-Straits relations have come a long way since the days when the People’s Republic of China and its smaller offshore rival the Republic of China would automatically sever diplomatic links with any country that recognised the other as the legitimate government of China. Since President Ma Ying-jeou took office in Taiwan 2008, the two have signed more than 20 trade and investment agreements, binding them ever closer.

Rumours that this rapprochement might culminate in a Stock Connect scheme, similar to the one between Shanghai and Hong Kong, sent Taiwanese bank and broker share prices soaring in late April. The benchmark Taiwan Stock Exchange Weighted Index briefly even eclipsed 10,000 for...

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