Wed, Oct 10, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Cathay Financial's profits triple in Q3

HOLDING COMPANIES While First Financial, Hua Nan and Chinatrust Financial also posted increases in profit, Mega Financial saw a 6.3% drop

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Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), the nation's biggest financial services company, reported third-quarter profit tripled from a year earlier as fewer customers defaulted on credit-card repayments.

Net income at the Taipei-based company, which owns the country's largest life insurer, rose to NT$12.2 billion (US$374 million) from NT$4.09 billion a year earlier.

Earnings were calculated by subtracting the company's first-half results from unaudited nine-month figures released in a statement yesterday.

Cathay Financial said nine-month profit jumped 151 percent to NT$32.9 billion, based on unaudited figures.

"In addition to the credit-card crisis easing, stock gains this year and continuous increases in interest rates have helped Cathay," Charles Chen (陳敏智), who helps manage the equivalent of US$3.7 billion at JF Asset Management Co (怡富投信), said before the figures were released.

Banks are recovering from a surge in defaults on credit-card loans that crimped earnings the past two years.

Banks wrote off NT$45.2 billion of credit-card debt in the first eight months of this year, about 55 percent of the amount in the same period last year, the Financial Supervisory Commission said.

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), the nation's second-largest financial services company by market value, also more than tripled third-quarter profit from a year earlier.

Net income climbed to NT$5.75 billion in the three months ended last month, from NT$1.86 billion a year earlier. Profit for the first nine months of the year jumped to NT$14.7 billion, based on unaudited figures, compared with NT$5.64 billion a year earlier.

Fubon Financial last month booked a loss of about NT$2.5 billion from investment in collateralized debt obligations by units, it said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Several other financial holding companies also posted their latest sales figures yesterday.

Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控) saw a 6.3 percent decline in nine-month profit to NT$13.3 billion, compared to a profit of NT$14.2 billion in the same period last year.

First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) posted a 38 percent rise in nine-month profit to NT$9.94 billion from NT$7.19 billion a year earlier, while Hua Nan Financial Holdings Co (華南金控) reported a 24 percent gain in nine-month profit to NT$7.52 billion from NT$6.08 billion over the same period last year.

Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控), meanwhile, returned to profit in the third quarter from a year-earlier loss as loan provisions fell and fee income rose.

The company, owner of the nation's largest credit-card issuer, had an unaudited net income of NT$4.65 billion, reversing a loss of NT$160 million a year earlier.

The figures were derived by subtracting first-half results from nine-month figures announced yesterday in an e-mailed statement. Chief financial officer Hsu Miao-chiu (許妙靜) confirmed the figure.

Chinatrust Financial's fee income from selling mutual funds and structured products surged more than 50 percent from a year earlier in the first nine months of the year, it said in the statement.

Chinatrust Financial said its nine-month profit totaled NT$12.85 billion.

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