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Taiwan Cooperative Bank and BNP Paribas Investment Partners sign a joint venture agreement to establish “BNP Paribas TCB Asset Management Co., Ltd"

BNP Paribas Investment Partners (BNPP IP) and Taiwan Cooperative Bank (TCB) today announced the signing of a joint venture agreement to set up BNP Paribas TCB Asset Management Co., Ltd(BNPP TCB AM)in Taiwan. Under the terms of the agreement, BNPP IP and TCB will hold 49% and 51% respectively of the shares in the new company.

The signing of the joint venture agreement is the first step in the process of creating a stand-alone asset management company. This process will be finalised once an asset management licence is obtained, and is subject to the relevant local regulatory approvals. The joint venture will be the second between TCB and BNP Paribas Group, following on from the agreement signed in early 2009 to establish “BNP Paribas Assurance TCB Life Insurance Company”.

BNPP TCB AM will be well-positioned to leverage on a common distribution platform, and it will provide innovative funds and other investment solutions designed to meet the specific needs of Taiwanese investors.

BNPP TCB AM will be fully supported by its two shareholders. In particular its clients will benefit from BNPP IP's strong capabilities and vast experience in asset management in 45 countries and TCB's extensive network of 300 branches in Taiwan.

Deng-Cheng Liu, Chairman of TCB, said: “In the wake of the recent financial crisis, TCB has been pursuing opportunities in new business areas such as securities, life insurance and mutual funds in order to provide its clients with integrated and diversified financial products and services. Since the financial crisis struck in 2008 the global economy has faltered, but emerging markets have proved their resilience and have the potential to produce very rapid growth in the years ahead. BNPP IP is a pioneer in emerging markets, having invested in fast-growing economies for over 10 years, offering exposure to countries such as China and South Korea. We are confident that by fully exploiting both TCB's and BNPP IP's capabilities, BNPP TCB AM's customers will benefit from our combined expertise in equities, fixed income and other asset classes via both funds and tailor-made mandates. But the creation of BNPP TCB AM will not only provide domestic investors with high-quality investment products – it will also write a new page in the history of Taiwan's fund industry.”

Philippe Marchessaux, CEO of BNPP IP, said:” We are delighted to be joining forces with TCB, one of Taiwan's most influential banks, to create a top-class player in the Taiwanese asset management market. This alliance ties in perfectly with our strategy of building a network of Partners with which we share high standards and common values”. As well as consolidating BNPP IP's presence in Asia, this project will reinforce our position as a leader in the emerging markets. We are also excited about the additional investment opportunities for our clients across the world that the deal will lead to.”

About BNP Paribas Investment Partners
BNP Paribas Investment Partners (BNPP IP) is a global asset manager. Following integration with Fortis Investments, it is set to become a top tier player in the global arena and the fifth-largest European asset manager with €522 billion* in assets under management and advice. It will have a wide-reaching geographic presence, with some 5000** professionals in 45 countries throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. It will be a client-focused organisation, with around 600 client-facing staff serving institutional and distribution clients in 70 countries, including its five core markets (France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands).

*Figure as of 30 September 2009. BNPP IP: €359 billion; FI: €163 billion
** BNPP IP: 2600 employees in 34 countries; FI: 2300 employees in 35 countries /

About Taiwan Cooperative Bank
Taiwan Cooperative Bank (TCB) has become the leading commercial bank with the most extensive network in Taiwan. It is a market leader in deposit and loan businesses in Taiwan since the merger with the Farmers Bank of China on 1 May 2006. With more than 60 years of local service experience, over 300 branches and 9,000 employees, TCB provides a broad range of financial services for around 62 million clients. According to the July 2009 issue of The Banker, in terms of total assets, TCB ranked 160 in the top 1,000 banks in the world, second only to the Bank of Taiwan in its home country. In addition to its general enterprise banking, loans and foreign exchange businesses, TCB has been diversifying its service offering to cover consumer banking and wealth management and to expand in overseas markets in the recent past, with the aim of transforming itself into an international, full-service, universal bank.