Fri, Feb 20, 2009 - Page 11 News List

[BUSINESS BRIEFS]

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Unions’ loan ratio drops

The average overdue loan ratio of the nation’s 27 credit unions dropped to 1.24 percent at the end of last year, from 5.97 percent on June 30, 2004, as a result of intensified efforts in recent years to clean up overdue loans in a bid to improve asset quality, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said yesterday.

The 1.24 percent overdue loan ratio is lower than local banks’ ratio of 1.54 percent.

The FSC’s data showed the coverage ratio of credit unions’ allowance for bad debt had risen to 118.24 percent from 29.98 percent, higher than local banks’ 69.48 percent, with nine of the credit unions reporting ratios higher than 100 percent.

In terms of profitability, the FSC said local credit unions had earnings before tax totaling NT$1.78 billion (US$51.4 million) last year, which was about the same as 2007.

The FSC said that credit unions’ financial structure and profitability have been improving steadily from 2004 through last year, as their return on assets improved to 0.29 percent from 0.16 percent, while return on equity rose to 4.53 percent from 2.87 percent.

Taipei hosts Get the Lion again

Microsoft Taiwan Corp hosted this year’s Get the Lion Creative Forum in Taipei yesterday to promote digital advertising amid the global economic slowdown.

Leslie Chu (朱會泳), general manager for MSN’s Online Services Group in Taiwan, said this was the second year that Taiwan had hosted the Get the Lion event and added that he believes the country has great potential in the digital advertising arena.

“Compared with the US and Europe, Taiwan’s traditional advertising business is lagging about 10 years behind. However, on the digital advertising front, the nation is quickly catching up with solid Internet and hardware infrastructure on a par with developed countries,” Chu said.

During the forum, advertising luminaries such as AKQA Inc’s Rei Inamoto, Lean Mean Fighting Machine’s Sam Ball and Tokyo GT’s Naoki Ito presented some of their award-winning work to a packed audience.

Banks to cut interest rates

The Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行) and Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行) said yesterday that they would cut their interest rates today after the central bank lowered its benchmark interest rates by 0.25 percentage points on Wednesday.

The two banks said on their Web sites that they would lower the rates on various time deposits and time savings deposits by between 0.01 percentage points and 0.15 percentage points in response to the central bank’s move.

The rate cuts also reflect the funding conditions on the market and market competition, they added.

Wealthy eager to invest

High-income earners in the Asia-Pacific region see this year as a good time for investing despite the uncertain economic conditions, according to a survey by credit card company Visa.

Sixty-four percent of respondents surveyed by the firm said they were likely to set aside more money for investments this year.

The most bullish were people in India, where 91 percent said they would invest more, followed by China with 70 percent and Singapore with 69 percent, the survey showed.

However, about two-thirds of respondents said they intended to tighten their belts and consume less.

The Visa survey polled 4,106 people in Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, China, Australia, India and Japan.

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