Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) said yesterday it would continue to offer high-margin products such as traditional life policies to increase profits, with an objective of NT$70 billion (US$2.2 billion) in premiums from new insurance contracts this year.
“This year, we will focus on sales of traditional life and medical policies and roll out investment-linked policies toward the end of March,” Shin Kong Life president Pan Po-cheng (潘柏錚) told an investor conference.
Pan said products designed by the company in cooperation with Japan’s Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance company would also be available starting in May, adding that the line of products would be adjusted in the second half of this year.
Shin Kong Life reported a net income of NT$110 million last year, with a return rate of 4.47 percent and a return on equity of 0.26 percent, data by parent company Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) released to investors yesterday showed.
Shin Kong Financial turned profitable in the fourth quarter of last year with a net profit of NT$1.41 billion and posted after-tax earnings of NT$1.13 billion, or NT$0.17 per share, for the full year.
The financial group’s banking unit, Shin Kong Commercial Bank (新光銀行), posted steady growth last year as its net profit after tax climbed 146.6 percent year-on-year to NT$560 million, Shin Kong Financial senior assistant manager Sunny Hsu (徐順鋆) said.
In the fourth quarter of last year, the bank’s net interest margin rose to 1.54 percent, while its non-performing loan ratio dropped to 1.42 percent with a loan-loss coverage ratio of 75.37 percent.
Its asset quality continued to improve, Hsu said.
This year, Shin Kong Bank aims to expand its loan businesses with enterprises while maintaining steady growth in loan businesses with individuals.
The bank is planning to set up a branch in Hong Kong in its effort to expand into the Asian-Pacific region and to develop businesses with China-based Taiwanese businesspeople, Hsu said.
Separately, Shin Kong Financial is considering a merger with Masterlink Securities Corp (元富證券) at an appropriate time this year, Shin Kong Financial president Victor Hsu (許澎) told reporters on the sidelines of the conference.
Shin Kong Financial holds a 25 percent stake in the securities company, with which it maintains a close strategic alliance, Hsu said.
Shares of Shin Kong Financial rose 2.15 percent to NT$11.9 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ahead of yesterday’s investors’ conference. The stock has declined 12.41 percent since the beginning of the year.
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