Thu, Feb 13, 2014 - Page 14 News List

SinoPac looks to consolidate lead in yuan business

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

SinoPac Financial Holding Co (永豐金控) is aiming to consolidate its leadership in yuan-linked business this year, which it expects will be favorable for earnings growth due to the sustained global economic recovery and financial deregulation at home, company chairman S.C. Ho (何壽川) said yesterday.

“The domestic easing of regulations on offshore banking and securities units provides many business opportunities that the company aims to capitalize on to maintain our top-notch ranking in offering yuan-linked products and services this year,” Ho said.

SinoPac Financial’s strategy is in line with the increasing weight of the yuan in the region, with the Chinese currency accounting for 12 percent of total deposits in Hong Kong, Ho said.

In Taiwan, that figure is a mere 3 percent as of late December last year, suggesting that there is ample room for growth in the domestic sector, he added.

China’s currency constitutes 6 percent, about 14 billion yuan (US$2.31 billion), of total deposits at the group’s main subsidiary, Bank SinoPac (永豐銀行), after approaching 200 billion yuan in Taiwan at the end of last year.

That amount is likely to double this year with the expected implementation of more financially liberal policies, Ho said.

Although SinoPac Financial is interested in expanding its scale through mergers and acquisitions, it is more urgent for the company to bolster its product lines to take advantage of the yuan’s rising popularity, the chairman said.

That is why Bank SinoPac is seeking to partner with the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICB, 中國工商銀行) so it can amplify its product sales in the Chinese market, he added.

However, the banks’ partnership may not become a reality until the cross-strait service trade pact signed last year clears the legislature, Ho said, adding that the group’s plan to set up a full-service securities house in China likely also hinges on the trade agreement’s passage.

SinoPac Financial posted NT$10.71 billion (US$354 billion) in net income last year, an increase of 11.2 percent from a year earlier, company data showed.

SinoPac Financial shares rose 2.13 percent to NT$14.4 yesterday, outperforming the TAIEX’s 0.95 percent rise, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

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