Chailease Holding Co Ltd (中租控股), the nation’s top leasing services provider, yesterday said that overseas expansions this year, in particular in China, would not be deterred by the economic downturn.
“Despite slowing growth in China, the company will forge ahead in accordance with the country’s key fundamental economic indicators,” Chailease Group (中租集團) chairman Andre Koo (辜仲立) told reporters at a news conference.
Chailease Group is the parent company of Chailease Holding and Grand Pacific Investment & Development Holding Co (中實控股).
“We retain a positive outlook on the Chinese market, and our plans to add three to four service locations there each year remain unchanged,” he said.
The company has more than 90 service locations worldwide, mostly in Taiwan, China and Thailand.
Koo said that the company started operations in Malaysia in November last year and is looking to extend its reach to Vietnam in the near term.
In addition, the company’s Philippines-based operation is expected to open its doors before the end of this quarter, Koo said, adding that the firm is anticipating a favorable response from Cambodian regulators regarding expansion into that country.
Chailease reported that net income last year rose 1 percent annually to a new record high of NT$6.87 billion (US$208.5 million), or earnings per share of NT$6.03, with consolidated sales rising 7 percent year-on-year to NT$36.8 billion.
The company last year registered loan growth of 19 percent in Taiwan and 7 percent in China, but a 2 percent contraction in Thailand.
Taiwan remained the biggest contributor for both loans and earnings, accounting for 52 percent of its total portfolio and 61 percent, respectively, with total delinquency ratio staying unchanged at 4.1 percent last year.
Despite its robust growth in loans and earnings last year, Chailease's delinquency ratio in Taiwan surprisingly rose to 2.9 percent at the end of last quarter from 2.7 percent in the previous quarter, which the company attributed to to the delayed repayment by some real-estate developers amid a slowdown in the domestic property market.
In comparison, the company’s delinquency ratio remained unchanged at 5.5 percent in China at the end of last quarter, while that in Thailand rose from 6 percent in the third quarter to 6.2 percent in the fourth quarter last year.
“There are no signs that the company’s delinquency ratio in China will improve in the first half of this year, the low season for the loan business in the country,” Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) analyst Peggy Shih (施姵帆) said in a note on Monday.
In related news, to achieve the company’s expansion plans, Chailease said it is looking to hire 500 employees and 20 management associates this year.
The management associates are to have annual salaries as high as NT$2 million after completing a 30-month training program, it said.
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