Wed, Oct 06, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Mega International tops bank rankings

OUTPERFORMER:A local study said Mega Bank had benefited from its merger in 2006 and could boost its profitability after China approves a plan to upgrade its Suzhou office

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff Reporter

Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐國際商銀) outperformed other domestic lenders in overall proficiency rankings last year and in the first half of this year, a National Taiwan University survey showed yesterday.

The state-run bank — which was formed in 2006 through a merger of the International Commercial Bank of China (中國國際商銀) and Chiao Tung Bank (交通銀行) — has benefitted from the consolidation and improved its financial showing and asset qualities, a report by the university’s Center for the Study of Banking and Finance said.

The bank, a subsidiary of Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控), could maintain its leading position in Taiwan and further boost its profitability after China approves a plan to upgrade its representative office in Suzhou to a branch later this year, said Hwang Dar-yeh (黃達業), a professor of finance who led the university survey.

“Other [domestic] lenders will have difficulty overtaking Mega International Commercial Bank given its scale, financial proficiency and asset quality,” Hwang said.

Mega Bank has paid-in capital of NT$64.1 billion (US$2.05 billion), more than 5,000 employees, 108 domestic and 19 overseas branches and three representative offices abroad.

Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託商銀), the banking arm of Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控), ranked second in the first half of this year, up from third place last year, as its recovering credit card and wealth management businesses increased fee and interest income, the report said.

Chinatrust, the nation’s largest credit card issuer, emerged from the global financial crisis unscathed mainly because of its strong asset profile with a capital adequacy ratio of 14.56 percent last year, the report said.

Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行), the banking subsidiary of Cathay Financial Holdings Co (國泰金控), ranked third in the first half of this year, down from second place last year, as the bank adjusted its loan portfolio and placed more emphasis on secured lending, the report said.

The bank used to focus on consumer banking, but is seeking to strike a balance between its corporate and consumer banking business, the report said.

Hwang expects tighter competition between Cathay and Chinatrust for second place in the foreseeable future.

The ranking of Taipei Fubon Bank (台北富邦銀行), a subsidiary of Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), remained unchanged at fourth place in the first half, as the lender adopted a more active management strategy, the report said.

The survey rated 23 banks — which directly, or through their parent companies, trade on the local bourse — based on their capital structure, management, earnings ability, market share and growth potential.

Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫) ranked fifth, followed by Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), E.Sun Commercial Bank (玉山銀行) and Bank SinoPac (永豐銀行).

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