Sat, Jun 23, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Financial groups cautious on near earnings outlook

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Financial institutions were yesterday cautious about their earnings outlook for the second half of the year, as global economic uncertainty continues to constrain corporate and consumer banking business.

First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) discussed its aim to boost the contribution made by overseas operations, in a bid to become the most profitable financial services provider among its state-run peers, company chairman Tsai Ching-nian (蔡慶年) told a shareholders’ meeting yesterday.

“We intend to raise earnings from overseas operations to 40 percent of all income within three years, making us the most profitable state-run financial company,” Tsai said.

To achieve that goal, First Financial would have to overtake Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控), which has expanded its overseas business more aggressively.

First Financial is discussing measures to strengthen its presence abroad at monthly development meetings, Tsai said.

The company’s shareholders approved plans to pay a dividend of NT$1 per share this year — including NT$0.6 per share in cash and 6 percent in stock — based on a net income of NT$7.6 billion (US$253.67 million) last year, or earnings per share of NT$1.08.

Hua Nan Financial Holdings Co (華南金控), another state-run financial services provider, reiterated its plan to invest in China’s Fujian Haixia Bank (福建海峽銀行) this year if the two sides can agree on a share price and board seats, Hua Nan Financial chairman Wang Rong-jou (王榮周) said.

Hua Nan Financial aims to secure a 20 percent stake in Haixia Bank, making it the Chinese lender’s largest foreign partner, Wang said, adding that there was no set timetable for the investment.

Although Hua Nan Financial faces earnings challenges in the second half of the year from a -faltering global economy, it should still emerge unscathed, Wang said.

Hua Nan Financial investors agreed to a cash dividend of NT$0.5 per share and 5 percent in stock, based on last year’s net profits of NT$8.54 billion, or earnings per share of NT$1.22.

Taishin Financial Holding Co’s (台新金控) Thomas Wu (吳東亮) shared the generally conservative view of future earnings although he said the company’s net profits rose to a seven-year high of NT$9.43 billion last year.

Taishin Financial plans to set up a second capital leasing company in Tianjin this year after opening its first in Nanjing, Wu told the shareholders’ meeting.

The shareholders agreed to a NT$1.119 per share dividend payout, including NT$0.224 per share in cash and 8.95 percent in stock.

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