Sat, Jun 16, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Ups and downs on dividend front

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) shareholder meeting declared dividends of NT$1.3 per share, which included a cash dividend of NT$1 and a stock dividend of NT$0.3, totaling NT$6.15 billion (US$185.5 million).

Shares of Shin Kong rose 3.71 percent to NT$35.45 yesterday after lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill allowing insurers to invest more of their assets overseas.

"[The Legislative Yuan's] decision gives more room for Taiwan insurers to maximize profitability by investing globally," Yin Nai-yun, who oversees US$172 million at Prudential Securities Investment Trust Enterprise (保德信元富投信), told Bloomberg Newswire.

A total of 16 banks and financial holding firms including Shin Kong yesterday held annual shareholder meetings to approve the year's revenue reports and discuss major issues.

In Taipei, the shareholder meeting for Bank of Overseas Chinese (華僑銀行) approved a cash buyout deal offered by Citibank. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second half of the year.

In Taichung, Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行) acting chairman Wu Cheng-ching (吳澄清) hosted its general meeting, which approved payment of a NT$1 cash dividend per common share.

The state-run bank reported pre-tax profits of NT$14.69 billion last year, ranking second among state banks, Wu said.

The bank would focus on increasing fee income this year to ensure stable returns for shareholders and investors, he added.

Taishin Financial Holding Co's (台新金控) shareholder meeting did not declare a stock dividend as the firm posted a net loss of NT$16.1 billion last year.

Having acquired a 22.5 percent stake and eight of 15 board seats in Chang Hwa in 2005, Taishin Financial said it would conduct share swaps to merge the lender and keep Chang Hwa's name, chairman Thomas Wu (吳東亮) said.

He did not give a timetable for any merger.

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