Wed, Nov 11, 2015 - Page 13 News List

CTBC plans to buy stake in China’s Life Insurance Co

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控) yesterday announced that it is to continue negotiations with China’s ABC Life Insurance (農銀人壽) and that it expected to conclude the talks before the end of this year.

CTBC Financial in August last year announced plans for its insurance unit, CTBC Life Insurance Co (中信人壽) to acquire a 19.99 percent stake in ABC Life Insurance Co Ltd for NT$8.5 billion (US$258.8 million).

However, the timetable for the acquisition has since lapsed amid rumors of discord between the management team of ABC Life Insurance and King Dragon Life Insurance Co Ltd (君龍人壽), a Xiamen-based cross-strait joint venture launched by Taiwan Life Insurance Co (台灣人壽).

CTBC Life chief strategy officer Yeh Po-heng (葉柏宏) told an investors’ conference that the company is currently renegotiating contract terms with ABC Life Insurance, but declined to give details while talks remain under way.

CTBC Financial last month acquired Taiwan Life and announced that Taiwan Life would be the surviving entity following a merger with CTBC Life, which is expected to be completed early next year.

The conglomerate reported net income of NT$24.95 billion in the first three quarters, or earnings of NT$1.51 per share, lower than the NT$37.29 billion and NT$2.44 earnings per share during the same period last year.

CTBC senior vice president Rachael Kao (高麗雪) said that the shortfall from last year’s result was due to the high comparison base set last year.

She added that if it were not for the exclusion of a NT$14.8 billion one-time booking windfall from its acquisition of Japan’s Tokyo Star Bank Ltdlast year, the company’s after-tax profits in the first three quarters would have grown by 11.7 percent year-on-year.

During the period, return on equity performance was 14.22 percent and return on asset rated at 0.87 percent, the company said.

CTBC Life said that, amid rising market volatility, it saw unrealized losses of its financial assets available for sale expand to more than NT$3 billion, compared with about NT$1 billion at the end of the second quarter.

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