Wed, Apr 11, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Financial holdings firms report Q1 results

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Financial holding companies reported profits last quarter, aided by stable financial markets and special reserves, which helped ease losses linked to currency volatility.

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), the nation’s second-largest financial service provider by assets, led its peers in profitability, with earnings per share (EPS) of NT$0.72 for the first three months of the year, company data showed. Net profit for the period totaled NT$6.53 billion (US$221.36 million).

Taipei Fubon Bank (台北富邦銀行), the group’s banking arm, was its main income source, posting a profit of NT$3.74 billion last quarter, while life insurance unit Fubon Life Insurance Co (富邦人壽) saw weak earnings because of currency volatility, the company said in a stock filing.

The insurer posted NT$20 million in net profit last month after special reserves absorbed some of the NT$170 million in pretax losses caused by currency volatility, Fubon Financial president Victor Kung (龔天行) said.

Starting last month, life insurers may set up special reserves from retained earnings as a buffer against losses linked to foreign currency exchanges.

The group’s EPS would have slowed to NT$0.66 in the first quarter in the absence of the special reserves, the filing said.

Fubon Financial also benefited from booking NT$800 million in profit from the divestment of Fubon Multimedia Technology Co (富邦媒體科技) shares, but also allocated NT$560 million in provisions for potential losses at its sports lottery subsidiary, Kung said.

Cathay Financial Holdings Co (國泰金控), the nation’s largest financial holding firm by assets, posted NT$1.92 billion in net income during the January-to-March period, translating into EPS of NT$0.19, company data indicated.

That made Cathay Financial the third-worst performer, ahead of only of Waterland Financial Holdings Co (國票金控) and China Development Financial Holdings Co (開發金控) with EPS of NT$0.17 and NT$0.15 respectively, according to their filings.

Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行) generated NT$3.42 billion in net income last quarter, while Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) sustained NT$1.75 billion in net losses, the parent’s filing said, adding that the special reserves lifted the insurer’s EPS by NT$0.2.

State-run Mega Financial Holdings Co (兆豐金控) ranked second in profitability, with EPS of NT$0.59 last quarter, the company said in a stock filing.

Net profit last quarter reached NT$6.67 billion, outranking its peers in terms of absolute value, thanks to improved overseas operations and wealth management business.

Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控), owner of the nation’s largest credit issuer, posted NT$5.19 billion in net profit in the first quarter, making it the third-best performer, with EPS of NT$0.46.

Chinatrust Financial was closely trailed by E.Sun Financial Holding Co (玉山金控), with EPS of NT$0.45, as the latter recognized NT$1.6 billion in income from securitized trust assets, raising its net profit in the first three months to NT$2.07 billion, its filing said.

Taishin Financial Holdings Co (台新金控) reported NT$2.95 billion in net income last quarter, ranking fifth with EPS of NT$0.41, company data showed.

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