Standard Chartered has achieved more than 51 per cent acceptance from shareholders of Taiwan's seventh-largest lender Hsinchu International Bank, meeting the minimum acceptance condition for the US$1.2 billion takeover. The remaining shareholders can still accept the offer at NT$24.50 (HK$5.74) per share before the October 31 deadline but their decision will not affect the deal, which has now met the condition for the takeover announced last month. The positive reaction from Hsinchu's shareholders is no surprise to the market because the NT$24.50 price represents a premium of 40 per cent over the closing price of NT$17.45 as of September 28 before the announcement of the offer. 'Achieving 51 per cent acceptance well before the close of the offer demonstrates widespread shareholder support. This acquisition is an outstanding opportunity to build scale in Taiwan, which is the fourth-largest banking market in Asia,' said Mervyn Davies, group chief executive of Standard Chartered. The acquisition marked a further expansion in Asia for Standard Chartered Bank and the first Taiwan lender to be sold to an international bank. Hsinchu, which has a market capitalisation of US$861 million and US$12.7 billion in assets, made an after-tax loss of US$83 million in the first half on bad consumer debt. Standard Chartered said it wanted to cancel the listing status of Hsinchu from the Taiwan Stock Exchange but this would be subject to regulatory and Hsinchu's corporate approval. After completing the acquisition, Standard Chartered Bank planned to combine Hsinchu's 83 branches in Taiwan with Standard Chartered's Taiwanese operations before the end of next year. As of the end of June, Hsinchu had more than 2.4 million customer accounts and 115,000 corporate accounts. The takeover would help Standard Chartered become Taiwan's No4 lender in terms of income for the first six months this year.