Sat, Jan 08, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Cathay Financial profit drops 19.55%

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), the nation’s largest financial services provider, said yesterday it posted NT$8.23 billion (US$280.4 million) in net profit last year, down 19.55 percent from the previous year, because its insurance unit reported a loss of NT$2.93 billion.

However, the rising earnings in both local and foreign equity markets, plus recovering net interest and fee incomes in the second half of last year, helped the company swing back to profit for the full year, following a loss of NT$1 billion in the first half.

Based on the financial -holding firm’s 10.15 billion outstanding shares, last year’s net profit translated into NT$0.81 in earnings per share, the Taipei-based company said in an e-mailed statement.

Among Cathay Financial’s major business units, Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行) made a net profit of NT$11.36 billion last year, the highest level set in six years.

That was followed by the company’s non-life insurance unit Cathay Century Insurance Co (國泰產險), which made a net profit of NT$340 million last year and Cathay Securities Co’s (國泰證券) NT$240 million, the statement showed.

Cathay Life Insurance Corp (國泰人壽), the financial holding firm’s flagship unit and the nation’s largest life insurer, saw its loss narrow by 58.7 percent to NT$2.93 billion for the whole of last year, from a loss of NT$7.1 billion in the first half, as investments at home and abroad began to yield profits late last year.

“Owing to a booming stock market in December, Cathay Life has seen its net value recover to roughly NT$120 billion as of the end of last year, along with an unrealized profit of more than NT$14 billion,” the company said in the statement.

As of the end of September, the insurer’s net value totaled NT$114.4 billion. Moreover, the surge in first-year premiums also helped improve the life insurer’s bottom line, because Cathay Life saw these premiums jump 48 percent year-on-year to NT$78.8 billion for the full year, compared with NT$18.07 billion in the first half, according to the company’s data.

Also yesterday, Taishin Financial Holdings Co (台新金控) said it last year made a net profit of NT$7.9 billion, or NT$1.09 per share. E.Sun Financial Holding Co (玉山金控) reported a net profit of NT$3.93 billion, or NT$1.04 each share, and Jih Sun Financial Holding Co (日盛金控) earned NT$2.83 billion, or NT$1.1 per share. Hua Nan Financial Holdings Co (華南金控) also yesterday posted a net profit of NT$6.04 billion, or NT$0.91 per share, for last year, while First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) made a profit of NT$7.05 billion, or NT$1.09 a share.

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