Tue, Aug 23, 2011 - Page 12 News List

E.Sun Financial set to improve earnings in brisk second half

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

E.Sun Financial Holding Co (玉山金控) yesterday forecast stronger earnings in the second half of the year due to an increase in lending and consumer-banking business.

“Second-half profitability will be better than in the first half,” E.Sun Financial Holding president Joseph Huang (黃男州) said at an investors conference.

E.Sun Financial reported a year-on-year rise of 38.7 percent in earnings for the first six months at NT$2.96 billion (US$102.81 million), translating to NT$0.78 in earnings per share. Revenues expanded 17.8 percent to NT$10.21 billion during the first half. Net fee income and net interest income rose 14.3 percent and 12.6 percent.

The financial service provider’s non-performing loan ratio was down to 0.22 percent, from last year’s 0.31 percent, while its coverage ratio climbed to 258.8 percent, from 189.8 percent.

Despite recent global economic woes, the lender said Taiwan’s economy would continue to grow at a stable rate.

Citing statistics from the -Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, which last week lowered Taiwan’s GDP growth forecast this year to 4.81 percent from the 5.01 percent it predicted last month, Huang said E.Sun’s lending growth normally outperformed GDP growth by 1.5-fold.

“Unless there are major problems affecting the global economy, we see our lending business growing 10 percent over the next two years,” he said.

A major boost to its lending business would come from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the company said.

E.Sun Financial saw its SME lending grow 12.2 percent year-on-year in the first half, while it plans to achieve 20 percent growth for the whole year.

In terms of consumer banking, the company’s total credit card transactions jumped 16.2 percent from last year — above the market average of 9.1 percent, company data showed.

The financial holding company last month approved the issuance of 500 million shares at the end of next month, which will be priced at NT$15 each to raise NT$7.5 billion in capital to support expansion of its banking arm, E.Sun Commercial Bank (玉山銀行).

That fund will aid the unit’s Asian business development as it is applying to open branches in Singapore and Dongguan, China, and upgrade a representative office in Vietnam to a branch.

Shares of E.Sun Financial closed unchanged at NT$17.5 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday before the conference.

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