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RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Taiwan

Taiwan's Cosmos Bank to raise funds via private placements

Cosmos Bank will slash its capital and then raise fresh funds through private placements to replenish capital eroded by losses.

The board of directors agreed to reduce Cosmos’ capital by 46.54 percent, or NT$13.28 billion or US$451.9 million.

After the share reduction plan, the bank’s total paid-in capital will be NT$15.26 billion, it said.

The capital reduction move comes before the bank’s scheduled conversion of its subordinated unsecured mandatory convertible bonds due on Dec. 27, which is expected to increase Cosmos’ share capital to NT$28 billion and dilute the company’s earnings per share.

The board also approved a rights issuance of 100 million shares through private placements. The bank plans to use the proceeds to strengthen its working capital, maintain higher earnings per share and boost its capital adequacy ratio, the statement said.

The bank plans to issue NT$1 billion in new shares, with potential buyers including SAC PEI Taiwan Holdings BV and China Development Industrial Bank.

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