Taiwanese conglomerate Core Pacific Group is considering buying some of Peregrine Investments Holdings' operations in Hong Kong and the mainland, general manager Lin Ke-ming says. Mr Lin said the group had no interest in Peregrine's Taiwan operations as little synergy could be derived. He said the conglomerate's immediate concern was to integrate its securities brokerage operations in Hong Kong with newly acquired Yamaichi International (Hong Kong), or YIHK. Mr Lin said the US$80 million acquisition would create a new entity - Core Pacific-Yamaichi (HK) - which would focus on assisting mainland state-owned enterprises to restructure their operations and raise funds overseas. Mr Lin said Core Pacific had experience in this area having underwritten a number of substantial new share offers for state-owned enterprises in Taiwan. With 150 employees, the new entity is hoping to replace Peregrine in providing corporate finance services for mainland enterprises. Mr Lin said Core Pacific chairman Tony Sheen strongly believed an influential Chinese-run investment bank should emerge to fill the slot vacated by Peregrine. 'Peregrine's collapse might curb the power of Chinese-run investment banks and allow foreign competitors more leeway to encroach on the region's markets.' Core Pacific's ultimate objective was to list the new entity on the Hong Kong stock exchange in three years' time, he said. It will also attempt to build a base in Japan by making use of Yamaichi's existing network and clientele. YIHK managing director Kenji Watanabe said Core Pacific was chosen from among 20 potential bidders. He said, among others, YIHK's failing Japanese parent Yamaichi Securities believed Core Pacific would provide the best resources for YIHK to recover within the shortest period of time and further expand its foothold in the mainland. For the six months to September, YIHK achieved an after-tax profit of $60 million. Controlling four listed firms, Core Pacific is the 13th largest listed group of companies in Taiwan with a market capitalisation of US$3 billion. It is engaged in petrochemicals, infrastructure and construction, land development, telecommunications, energy resources development and retail businesses. It posted an after-tax profit of NT$1.4 billion (HK$320.6 million) last year, compared with the previous year's NT$620 million.