Wed, May 11, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Citibank ranks at top of bank report

DARK HORSES:Unlisted Shanghai Commercial & Savings Bank was the second-best performer, while King’s Town jumped from 21st in 2009 to third in the latest survey

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff Reporter

Citibank Taiwan outperformed its peers in Taiwan in overall proficiency rankings last year, a report by the Center for the Study of Banking and Finance at National Taiwan University showed yesterday.

The foreign lender, a local subsidiary of the US financial services giant Citigroup, ranked first in terms of asset quality, earnings ability as well as scale and growth, the report said.

As of March, Citibank had a net worth of NT$88.74 billion (US$3.09 billion) and a bad loan ratio of 0.35 percent, according to Financial Supervisory Commission’s (FSC) statistics.

Citibank’s pretax earnings stood at NT$4.5 billion for the first three months, lagging behind Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託商銀) with NT$5.45 billion and Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐國際商銀) with NT$4.64 billion, FSC data showed.

The foreign bank, however, reported earnings of NT$17.89 billion, higher than all its peers last year.

“With return on equity hitting 22.14 percent, Citibank is both a model among foreign banks and the best performer among all peers,” said Hwang Dar-yeh (黃達業), a finance professor at National Taiwan University who led the survey.

Citibank has benefited from the 2007 acquisition of Bank of Overseas Chinese (華僑銀行), increasing the number of its branches from 11 to 66 and bringing 110,000 new savings accounts and 7,000 personal loan clients, the report said.

Shanghai Commercial & -Savings Bank (上海商銀) was ranked as the -second-best performer last year as the lender demonstrated strong operating ability, the report found.

“On the average, Shanghai employees earned NT$4.22 million each last year, an impressive showing for an unlisted lender,” the report said.

Shanghai bank, which aims to launch an initial public -offering next year, posted NT$2.83 billion in net income as of last month, translating into earnings of NT$1.12 per share, company data said. Despite its modest size, the lender plans to expand in China via its Hong Kong subsidiary.

King’s Town Bank (京城銀行), a medium-sized bank based in Tainan, ranked third on the back of substantial improvement in asset quality following capital restructuring in 2005, the report said.

King’s Town had a net worth of NT$13.82 billion as of March, while its bad loan ratio hovered at about 0.36 percent, based on FSC data.

“The overall ranking of King’s Town improved sharply from 21st in 2009 to third place last year, proving the management reshuffle and financial reorganization were correct and successful,” the report said.

Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), the banking arm of Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控), was the fourth-best performer, trailed by Chinatrust Bank, the banking subsidiary of Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控), the report showed.

While Chinatrust outperformed Taishin in profitability and operating efficiency, the nation’s largest credit card issuer failed to match its earnings ability and its economies of scale, the report found.

Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行) and Mega Bank, the banking arms of Cathay Financial Holdings Co (國泰金控) and Mega Financial Holdings Co (兆豐金控) respectively, ranked sixth and seventh place as their earnings declined last year from a year earlier, the report said.

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