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Bank SinoPac of Taiwan to Acquire Far East National Bank.

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 3, 1996--Bank SinoPac of Taiwan announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Far East National Bank (ASE:FEB) of Los Angeles for cash. The transaction, which is subject to the approval of Far East National Bank shareholders and receipt of regulatory approvals, is expected to close during the first half of 1997. It is anticipated that the purchase price will be between $85 million and $90 million (U.S.), depending upon the book value of Far East National Bank's stock at the closing of the transaction. It is anticipated that the purchase price will equal 1.925 times the book value of Far East National Bank's stock at the time of closing. As of June 30, 1996, the book value per share was $7.66. Far East National Bank has 5,670,000 shares outstanding.

Bank SinoPac's President, Paul C. Y. Lo, stated, "Bank SinoPac is committed to international expansion throughout the Pacific Rim, and the acquisition of Far East National Bank represents an important step in that direction. With 10 branches up and down California, as well as an office in Beijing, Far East National Bank provides us with an ideal platform upon which to expand into the United States. Under Henry Hwang's dynamic leadership Far East National Bank has become one of the most respected banks in California; it has an outstanding track record in performance, a loyal customer base and an excellent management team. We plan to build upon the solid foundation and excellent reputation that Mr. Hwang has established.

"We believe that there is considerable untapped opportunity in California for a bank that has skills, expertise and experience in financing the rapidly growing international trade between California and Asia, and we intend for Far East National Bank to become that bank," Mr. Lo added.

Henry Hwang, Far East National Bank's Chairman and Chief Executive officer, said, "We are very excited to be joining Bank SinoPac, one of Taiwan's most successful banks. With Bank SinoPac's support, we expect to accelerate our growth and enhance our ability to service the needs not only of the California business community, but throughout the United States, in the important areas of international trade financing, investment banking, and treasury activities."

Founded in 1974, Far East National Bank was the first Asian-American federally chartered bank in the continental United States. At the end of June 1996 Far East National Bank had total assets of $496 million and shareholder equity of $43 million.

Bank SinoPac of Taiwan commenced operations in January 1992 and currently operates 24 branches in 14 cities throughout Taiwan. The bank has assets of approximately $4.5 billion (U.S.) and shareholder equity of $390 million (U.S.). Bank SinoPac is a public company and its stock is traded on the Taiwanese OTC market.

CONTACT: Sitrick And Company

Jeffrey S. Lloyd, 310/788-2850
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 3, 1996
Words:482
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