FIRST Pacific Co has confirmed that it is negotiating with two arms of the mainland Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade (MOFERT) regarding a stake in a new vehicle which will control the banking business operated by First Pacific Bancshares. The First Pacific group announced in January that it intended to delist Bancshares and form FPB Holdings, with First Pacific Bank as its sole asset. As part of the reorganisation, First Pacific Co has said it intends raising ''a substantial sum'' by selling down its 65 per cent stake in the bank to an outside investor. In a statement yesterday, First Pacific and Bancshares said they ''can now confirm that discussions are taking place with representatives of China Trust and Investment Corp for Foreign Economic Relations and Trade and China National Metals and Minerals Import and Export Corp.'' Both are state-owned enterprises operating under the auspices of MOFERT. ''These discussions are proceeding satisfactorily and it is anticipated that agreement may be reached shortly,'' the companies said. A further announcement would be made on the successful conclusion of the deal. The approval of the stock exchange and Monetary Authority would be needed before the deal could be concluded. Group vice-president Derek Murphy said last night the announcement of MOFERT's involvement was considered necessary because of a leak in the Hongkong media over the weekend. First Pacific and Bancshares asked for their shares to be suspended yesterday morning but they requested a resumption of trading in the afternoon following the release of the statement over the stock exchange electronic notice system. Under the terms of the reorganisation proposal announced in January, minority shareholders in Bancshares would be offered an aggregate value of $2.90 per share in cash and new shares in FPB Holdings.