Sat, Sep 17, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Shinkong announces nearly NT$7 billion in earnings

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Shinkong Financial Holding Co (新光金控), the nation's seventh-largest financial services provider by assets, yesterday posted earnings of NT$6.82 billion (US$208 million), or NT$2.01 per share, in the first eight months of this year.

Shinkong Financial's January-August earnings per share (EPS) ranked second-highest out of the 14 financial holdings firms in Taiwan, after Cathay Financial Holding Co's (國泰金控) EPS of NT$2.11, but ahead of Chinatrust Financial Holding Co's (中信金控) EPS of NT$1.95.

The financial holdings' flagship affiliate, Shinkong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽), the nation's third-largest life insurer, contributed 96.12 percent of those earnings, followed by its banking unit Shinkong Commercial Bank's (新光銀行) 1.64 percent and the brokerage arm Shinkong Securities Corp' (新壽證券) 1.51 percent.

The insurer's overseas investment rose to NT$3.11 billion, or 34.75 percent of its total investment of NT$8.95 billion last month, approaching the regulatory ceiling of 35 percent, the company said.

Shinkong Financial is expected to roll out its first real estate investment trust (REIT) products valued at more than NT$10 billion by the year-end when the Financial Supervisory Commission gives a green light after a review.

An REIT is a company that purchases and manages real estate or real-estate loans, using money provided by shareholders. REITs pay out almost all the income the company earns in dividends, making it attractive to investors seeking regular returns with the possibility of capital gains.

Shinkong's REIT is backed by the financial holdings' four buildings including Shinkong Jasper Villa Tienmu (新光天母傑仕堡) and Shinkong Mitsukoshi Department Store Tainan (新光三越台南店), the nation's first building in the south to be securitized.

Cathay Financial, the nation's biggest financial services company, said on Wednesday that its NT$13.9 billion REIT drew more than three times that amount in demand.

Cathay plans to start trading its REIT on the Taiwan Stock Exchange late this month or early next month, the company said in a statement at the time.

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