Sat, Mar 21, 2015 - Page 13 News List

Entie Bank to focus on core businesses to drive profit

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Entie Commercial Bank Ltd (安泰銀行) yesterday said it would focus on its core profit generator this year, targeting a steady increase in the scale of its lending business and strengthening its fee income.

“The lending business and fee income will remain Entie Bank’s major drivers this year,” chief executive officer Jesse Ding (丁予康) said on a conference call in Taipei.

Entie posted net income of NT$3.2 billion (US$101.43 million), or NT$1.91 per share, last year, up 21 percent from a year earlier and marking its highest level in five years excluding one-time gains, the bank said in a statement.

Entie chief financial officer Andrew Lee (李治平) attributed last year’s profit growth to its stable lending business and higher fee income.

The bank began adjusting its lending structure in 2008, aiming to achieve a more steady expansion in the segment, Ding said.

The bank has also focused on loans to medium-sized enterprises and lowered its lending exposure to real estate-related business, he said.

With this strategy, Entie expects its loan book, which totaled NT$194 billion last year, to show mild growth this year of between 3.5 and 7 percent growth, he added.

Meanwhile, the bank plans to continue raising its fee income this year, hoping its revenue mix can achieve a 60:40 ratio between interest income and fee income in two years. Currently, interest and fee incomes represent 65 percent and 35 percent of the company’s revenue respectively.

Commenting on the government’s policy of encouraging local financial institutions to raise their scale through mergers and acquisitions, Ding said it might happen anytime for Entie — which is currently under the control of Longreach Group, a private equity fund based in Hong Kong.

However, the bank’s management is set to retain its focus on bolstering core businesses, providing more financial services and strengthening profitability, Ding said.

The bank will also be less ambitious about the government’s “Asian Cup” initiative to raise local financial firms’ presence in Asia, Ding said, citing the bank’s relatively small scale. Rather, the bank would look to its offshore banking units (OBU) to expand overseas, he said.

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