Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控) yesterday reported that net income last year reached NT$8.18 billion (US$257.2 million), or NT$1.27 per share. This compares with a net loss of NT$5.29 billion in 2008.
Its banking arm, Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), also outperformed 36 other domestic banks with a record-high coverage ratio of 276.2 percent last month — far above the industry average of 91.2 percent, bank president Justin Tsai (蔡榮棟) told an investor conference.
The bank also reported, in January, the second-highest reserve-to-loan ratio at 1.35 percent, next to Shanghai Commercial & Savings Bank’s (上海商銀) 1.7 percent, and the second-lowest non-performing loan ratio at 0.51 percent, next to Taipei Fubon Bank’s (台北富邦銀行) 0.5 percent, Tsai said.
Taishin Financial president Lin Keh-hsiao (林克孝) said the bank’s record-high coverage ratio was a result of its cautious stance on macro-economic prospects.
The ratio shows “we are well-prepared ... for any possible threats, including a negative impact from the soon-to-be-implemented Statements of Financial Accounting Standard No. 34,” Lin said.
As the nation’s economic recovery continues, the bank expects to see above 15 percent growth in both net interest income and net fee-based income this year and mild growth in its corporate loan business, Tsai said
As for its wealth management business, he said the bank remained cautiously optimistic.
The bank expects “reasonably rosy pre-provisions before-tax earnings this year,” he said.
Taishin Financial yesterday said it would gradually branch out into the Chinese market by evaluating potential investment opportunities, such as banks in second-tier cities or non-banking platform for securities brokerage, leasing or fund management businesses.
In other news, HSBC’s office in Taiwan yesterday reported a pre-tax profit of US$160 million last year, bank president and chief executive Nicholas Winsor told a media briefing yesterday.
“We will continue to invest in Taiwan and plan to add 300 to the headcount in key roles,” he said, adding that the local market was a “wealthy market for long-term wealth management businesses.”
HSBC said its banking subsidiary — HSBC Taiwan — would begin operations in May.
The banking group sees Asia as its strongest performing market after posting US$9.2 billion in pre-tax profits in the region, or nearly 70 percent of the group’s underlying pre-tax profit, Winsor said.