Fri, Apr 27, 2007 - Page 12 News List

First Financial to team up with Aviva

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) said yesterday that its board had agreed on a plan to form a joint venture with Aviva Plc of the UK to tap into the nation's fast growing bancassurance market.

In a statement, the nation's fifth-largest financial group by assets said it would control 51 percent of the new venture with paid-in capital of NT$5 billion (US$150.5 million), while the UK's largest life insurer will take the reminder.

The joint venture will market Aviva's insurance products through First Commercial Bank's (第一銀行) network of more than 180 branches nationwide, the statement said.

London-based Aviva released its own statement saying that it would sell long-term savings and pension products in Taiwan through the joint venture.

Lee Lih (李立), First Financial's deputy spokesperson, said the new subsidiary would account for 10 percent to 20 percent annual growth in the bank's insurance policies sales that amount to NT$15 billion currently.

The new venture is expected to break even in four years after a loss of no more than NT$600 million in total, and to become profitable with earnings estimated at NT$130 million on sales of NT$22 billion in 2011, Lee said.

First Financial had NT$10.82 billion profits last year, or NT$1.81 per share. It said yesterday that it would pay out dividends to shareholders NT$1 in cash and NT$0.2 in stocks.

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