Thu, Mar 30, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Shanghai Bank eyeing firms in growth sectors

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank (上海商業儲蓄銀行) aims to grow its loan book by a double-digit percentage this year, as it seeks to strengthen ties with companies on the government’s list of growth industries, top executives said yesterday.

“We are looking to increase corporate banking by NT$60 billion [US$1.98 billion] and retail banking by NT$50 billion, which would translate into a 15 percent pickup from last year’s levels,” bank spokesman Alex Lin (林志宏) said.

Shanghai Bank’s growth target is higher than most of its state-run and private peers, which are aiming for a single-digit percentage growth in light of a mild economic recovery.

The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics’ latest economic growth forecast for this year is 1.92 percent.

Shanghai Bank has charted out a detailed plan to achieve its growth target, Lin said.

Small and medium-sized enterprises will drive 50 percent of the increase in corporate banking, bolstered by an improving global economic and a recovery in investment appetite, he said.

That explains why the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates earlier this month and indicated room for two more increases for the rest of the year, Lin said.

Higher interest rates are favorable for banking operations, promising better yields for their lending and investment portfolios.

Shanghai Bank plans to increase lending by NT$10 billion to companies in the “five plus two” industries to advance the government’s effort to build an “Asian Silicon Valley,” “intelligent” machinery, “green” energy technology, biomedicine and national defense, in addition to setting up a agricultural business model and a circular economy.

The bank aims to boost loans by another NT$10 billion to companies planning to invest in Southeast Asia, in line with the government’s “new southbound policy” to reduce reliance on the Chinese market, bank director and president E. J. Chiou (邱怡仁) said.

As for its retail business, Shanghai Bank plans to launch reverse mortgage loans for people aged 65 or older, as part of the government’s efforts to build a social security net for the nation’s fast-growing aging population, Chiou said.

The bank has also installed full-time legal compliance officers at all of its 70 branches nationwide to meet stricter rules against money laundering, Lin said, after state-run Mega International Commercial Bank’s (兆豐銀行) New York branch was fined by US authorities for negligence.

Shanghai Bank is to hold its annual shareholders’ meeting on June 16 to discuss plans for its primary listing on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

The bank has not set a date for the listing, he said.

Shareholders are also to vote on a proposal to distribute NT$1.50 in cash dividends based on a net income of NT$11.75 billion last year, Lin said.

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