Wed, Feb 11, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Mega Financial punches above its weight

CONTENDER The financial services company beat out larger rival Fubon Financial to place second behind Cathay Financial with NT$18.4 billion in after-tax earnings

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控), the third-largest financial-service company in the nation, yesterday beat out 13 rivals by posting the second-highest after-tax earnings for last year -- NT$18.4 billion.

"Mega has reached 101 percent of its revised profit goal last year," company president Lin Tzong-yeong (林宗勇) told reporters yesterday.

According to the company's press statement, Mega Financial lagged behind Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控). Cathay is the largest financial-service company with after-tax earnings of NT$20.59 billion.

Mega Financial, however, outperformed the second-largest Fubon Financial Holding Company's (富邦金控) NT$14 billion.

The company is slated to announce its profit goal for this year by the end of the first quarter, according to senior vice president Wai Ching-tsan (魏錦燦).

But yesterday it outlined its business goals for this year: maintaining the biggest share of the syndicated-loan market while expanding its business scope in wealth management services.

Wai said that Mega's subsidiaries -- Chiao Tung Bank (交通銀行) and International Commercial Bank of China (中國商銀) -- have a joint market share of 24 percent in syndicated loans.

Mega Financial's other units include Barits International Securities Corp (倍利證券), Chung Hsing Bills Finance Corp (中興票券), Chung Kuo Insurance Co (中國產險) and Mega Investment Trust Corp (兆豐投信).

The state-controlled financial holding company also plans to increase its emphasis on private banking, which accounts for 10 percent of its businesses, by 10 percent in the near future and by 20 percent to 30 percent in the long run, Wai said.

"Local market shares and the greater China markets will be our business focus this coming year," he added.

Wai refused to reveal the company's plans to tap into Chinese markets, but said that its subsidiary Barits Securities and International Commercial Bank's off-shore banking unit have geared up to provide financial services to China-based Taiwanese businesspeople.

Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) and Taishin Financial Holdings Co (台新金控) also disclosed their profit earnings for last year yesterday.

Chinatrust Financial, the nation's fourth-largest financial holding company by market value, posted NT$19.1 billion in pre-tax earnings, up 22 percent from NT$15.6 billion in 2002.

However it posted NT$7.7 billion in after-tax earnings after purchasing Grand Commercial Bank (萬通銀行) last July and writing off the subsidiary's bad loans.

Chinatrust Financial chairman Jeffrey Koo (辜濂松) said he expects the company's estimated pre-tax profit goal for this year will be NT$23.5 billion.

He expressed confidence in meeting the new profit goal since with Chinatrust's banking units, after merging Grand Commercial Bank, have greatly increased from 58 to 101 branches with 2,500 automatic teller machines available nationwide.

The estimated pre-tax earnings of NT$23.5 billion includes a NT$1.5 billion goodwill amortization, that is due to pay Grand Commercial this year, Chinatrust said.

Taishin, on the other hand, posted NT$7.6 billion in after-tax earnings, reaching 104 percent of its profit goal, according to its chairman, Thomas Wu (吳東亮).

Wu yesterday earmarked a 33 percent growth for this year's profit goal.

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