Wed, Mar 14, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Taishin Financial silent on challenge from Pau Jar Group

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控) yesterday remained silent about how it plans to fend off a looming proxy fight over board of director seats.

The company’s board of directors is expected to cut the number of board seats from nine to seven in an election scheduled to take place during a shareholders’ meeting on June 8.

“The company’s management team does not oversee matters related to boardroom elections,” Taishin Financial president Welch Lin (林維俊) said at an earnings conference in Taipei.

While all nine board seats are currently occupied by directors who are aligned with Taishin Financial chairman and founder Thomas Wu (吳東亮), New Taipei City-based residential property developer Pau Jar Group (寶佳機構) has said that it intends to take two seats.

The real-estate developer has also amassed a considerable stake in Taishin Financial, owning just shy of 10 percent, which would require the approval of regulators.

Industry observers have said that by cutting the number of board seats, Taishin Financial could raise the number of votes required to take a single seat from 9 percent to about 11.3 percent of total voting shares.

Meanwhile, the company said that small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) loans would be its primary growth driver this year, which is expected to expand between 5 percent and 15 percent annually.

Lin expressed optimism on continued interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve, saying that each 25 basis-point increase is expected to generate an additional NT$17 million (US$581,157) in lending profits.

However, data from Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), the company’s biggest subsidiary, showed that foreign currency-denominated loans made up only 16.5 percent of the company’s loan book as of the end of last quarter following sequential growth of 4.7 percent.

The company, which does not provide a breakdown of loans, said that SME loans are grouped under the “other” category representing 5.5 percent of its loan book, which also includes auto loans, second mortgages and other consumer products.

The company reported that net income last year rose 14.6 percent annually to NT$13.06 billion, or earnings per share of NT$1.15.

Return on equity rose modestly from 9.58 percent a year earlier to 9.61 percent, due to rapid expansion of shareholders’ equity, while return on assets inched up from 0.74 percent a year earlier to 0.8 percent, the company said.

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