SinoPac Financial Holdings Co (永豐金控) yesterday said that it would shift its focus from China to Southeast Asia amid cooling cross-strait relations.
While China remains an important market, SinoPac cannot afford to miss out on opportunities in Southeast Asia as more Taiwanese businesses expand into the region, company president Yu Kuo-chih (游國治) said.
The company would begin offering services catering to the needs of China-based Taiwanese businesses seeking to establish footholds in Southeast Asia, Yu said.
Leveraging SinoPac’s banking presence in China, it could help finance expansion projects in countries such as Vietnam through asset revitalization arrangements, Yu said.
To facilitate the transfer of capital from China to Southeast Asia, Taiwanese companies could use their China-based assets as collateral with Bank SinoPac’s (永豐銀行) banking subsidiary in that country with letters of credit and offshore banking units, Yu said.
The company is working on its own expansion in the region by setting up leasing businesses, Yu said.
It has set up leasing operations in Myanmar and Cambodia and it is working with regulators in Thailand, Yu said, adding that the firm has a banking subsidiary in Vietnam.
Meanwhile, its new banking branch in Guangzhou, China, is expected to commence operations in November, Yu said.
The company reported net income NT$8.18 billion (US$265.58 million) for last year, representing an annual decline of 24.6 percent, due to tepid economic growth and narrowing net interest margins on account of continued interest rate cuts by Taiwan’s central bank.
Earnings per share were NT$0.77.
Bank SinoPac, the company’s largest and most profitable arm, saw its earnings fall 26 percent annually last year after writing off a NT$450 million loan to Taipei-based Tingsing Trading Co (鼎興貿易) in addition to putting up bad debt provisions of NT$1.39 billion.
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