Sun, Jan 11, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Cathay Financial reports fourth-quarter investment loss


Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), Taiwan’s biggest financial services company, reported a fourth-quarter loss after writing down Iceland-related investments and the value of its stock investments slumped.

The Taipei-based company, which owns Taiwan’s largest life insurer, made a loss of NT$1.37 billion (US$41 million), compared with a loss of NT$2.23 billion a year earlier.

The figures were derived by subtracting nine-month results from unaudited full- year earnings released in a statement today.

Lee Chang-ken (李長庚), a spokesman at Cathay Financial, confirmed the fourth-quarter loss.

Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行), its banking unit, took a writedown of NT$2.1 billion because of losses from overseas investments, including collateralized debt obligations, Lee said.

Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽), another unit, had a loss after the value of its stock investment fell because of the financial crisis, Lee said, without providing details.

Global equities lost US$30 trillion in value last year as the collapse of the US housing market led to more than US$1 trillion of losses and writedowns at financial institutions worldwide.

Cathay Financial’s full-year net profit fell to NT$2.4 billion, or NT$0.25 per share, the statement to the Taiwan stock exchange said. The company is scheduled to release an audited report before March.

Meanwhile, Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控), Taiwan’s third-largest financial company by market capitalization, said yesterday its full-year net income plunged.

The company said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that its net income was NT$710.5 million, or NT$0.06 cents, based on unaudited figures.

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