Fubon sale seen on the cards

Business | Watson Tan and Samantha Wong 21 Apr 2017

A report from Citibank said Taiwan- based Fubon Financial Holding is looking to sell its subsidiary Fubon Bank (Hong Kong), but Fubon Financial declined to comment, Taiwan media reported.

Citibank estimated the deal to be worth up to NT$66.7 billion (HK$17.06 billion), earning Fubon Financial a net profit of NT$22.2 billion. Shares of Fubon Financial jumped 1.18 percent at the close yesterday.

The report also suggested the potential buyers include Chinese enterprises who wish to expand the market outside Asia and non-banking conglomerates who want to enter the mainland market.

Separately, Hang Seng Bank is to launch its AI machine-learning technology to analyze customers' speech in the second half of the year. Lifestyle chatbot and virtual assistant services will be provided. It will feature natural language processing and artificial neural network, with analysis of Hong Kong's unique colloquial vernacular, such as mixing both English and Cantonese in one conversation.

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