Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) yesterday said it is still seeking viable investment opportunities for its NT$159.8 billion (US$4.96 billion) cash position.
“We retain a high level of interest in long-term domestic investments, including equities, commercial real estate and other projects,” Cathay Financial president Lee Chang-ken (李長庚) said on the sidelines of an investors’ conference.
The company said it would continue expanding in Asia, including the Philippines, where the company has acquired a 21.93 percent stake in Rizal Commercial Banking Corp, and in Indonesia, where the company holds a 24.9 stake in Bank Mayapada. The company also has investments in Vietnam and Cambodia.
However, the nation’s largest financial service provider by assets would pay attention to the quality of its asset this year, in light of the current economic downturn, Lee said.
Lee’s remarks came after Cathay Financial released its latest embedded and appraisal values.
Embedded value is used to gauge the value of insurance firms, while appraisal value measures future profits.
As of the end of December last year, the company’s embedded value increased to NT$58.5 per share from NT$56.4 a year earlier.
The gain was mainly driven by a rise in value of Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽), the company’s most profitable unit, which at the end of last year, saw its embedded value grow 4 percent annually to NT$735 billion, or NT$138.5 per share.
The value of its insurance policies in force grew 12 percent annually to NT$342 billion, the company added.
In terms of appraisal values, the insurer saw the figure rise 5 percent annually to NT$1.25 trillion, translating to NT$235.3 per share, and NT$99.4 per share for the parent.
However, following adjustments, the insurer’s net worth at the end of last year fell 2 percent annually to NT$393 billion.
Cathay Financial shares yesterday closed flat at NT$36.5.
Regarding the shortfall between its share price and its valuation, Lee said the management team must work hard to raise investors’ confidence in the company.
The company’s net income dipped 54 percent annually to NT$8.3 billion in the first quarter. Earnings per share were NT$0.65.
During the period, Cathay Life saw net income drop precipitously to NT$2.7 billion, from NT$12.5 billion a year ago, while investment yield after hedging fell to 3.6 percent from 4.5 percent a year ago amid rising volatility in the global markets.
Cathay United Bank Co (國泰世華銀行) reported that last quarter’s net income gained 1.8 percent annually to NT$5.6 billion, but the bank’s net interest margin fell to 1.07 percent from 1.24 percent a year ago.
In the January-to-March period, the bank reported a 38 percent annual gain in overseas profits to NT$2.9 billion, representing 45.9 percent of its total earnings, compared with 33.4 percent in the same period last year.
Cash-strapped developer China Evergrande Group (恆大集團) has begun repaying investors in its wealth management products with real estate, said Hengda Real Estate Group Co Ltd (恆大地產), its main unit. Evergrande, with more than US$300 billion in liabilities, is in the throes of a liquidity crisis that has left it racing to raise funds to pay its many lenders and suppliers. It has a bond interest payment of US$83.5 million due on Thursday. The company said on WeChat on Saturday that investors interested in redeeming wealth management products for physical assets should contact their investment consultants or visit local offices. Financial news outlet Caixin on
Alphabet Inc’s Google on Tuesday announced plans to buy a New York office building for US$2.1 billion, confirming its push into the US’ largest city despite the COVID-19 teleworking trend. This is the largest real-estate purchase in the US for an office building since the beginning of the global spread of COVID-19, the Wall Street Journal quoted Real Capital Analytics as saying. Google already rents the premises in Manhattan, which are located on the site of a former railroad terminal in the Hudson Square neighborhood. The Silicon Valley giant envisions a campus with a total surface area of 160,000m2 by mid-2023
‘CORE VALUES’: The contract chipmaker did not specify why the employees were dismissed, but media reports said they had leaked information about customer orders Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has fired seven of its employees for violating the company’s “core values,” the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. While the company did not disclose exactly why it fired the seven employees, local media reports earlier in the day said that the employees had leaked confidential information about customer orders. In a statement, the company said that it fired the seven at once, adding that it released an internal notice last week to inform the entire company of the move ahead of the four-day Mid-Autumn Festival holilday, which ended on Tuesday. TSMC said it fired the seven
MILD ADJUSTMENT: Two previous efforts failed to curtail mortgage financing, although the new measures should not affect property prices, the central bank governor said The central bank yesterday tightened credit controls for second-home mortgages in specific areas and purchases of plots of land, especially in industrial parks. However, the nation’s top monetary policymaker kept its policy rate at a record-low 1.125 percent for the sixth consecutive quarter, despite revising up its GDP growth forecast for this year from 5.08 percent to 5.75 percent. “Board members factored in economic uncertainty at home and around the world,” central bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) said, adding that growing inflationary pressure was a temporary phenomenon induced by bad weather and a low base effect for oil prices. International fuel price increases