Sat, Apr 14, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Financial companies show stability, improved income

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s financial conglomerates reported a total of NT$109.87 billion (US$3.75 billion) in net income for the first quarter, an improvement of nearly 80 percent from the same period last year, as stability in the local and international economy boosted product sales and investment gains.

The low base last year — linked to foreign-exchange losses — also lent support to the improvement, companies said.

Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), the nation’s largest financial holding firm by market value, posted NT$23.11 billion in net profit between January and last month, or earnings per share (EPS) of NT$1.82, making it the most profitable among 15 listed peers, the company said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Cathay Financial’s main subsidiary, Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽), accounted for 70 percent of the parent company’s total earnings with NT$16.63 billion, more than double the amount from a year earlier, thanks to strong demand for protection-type and investment-linked insurance policies.

First-year premiums for protection-type policies swelled 61 percent year-on-year last quarter, while returns on investments gained considerable headway, Cathay Life said.

The company’s banking arm, Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行), also put up a stable performance as it raised demand deposit ratios to lower funding costs, Cathay Financial said.

Cathay Financial’s closest rival, Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), saw its net income total NT$16.43 billion last quarter, or EPS of NT$1.61, its stock filing showed.

The results allowed Fubon Financial to reclaim second place after outpeforming Shin Kong Financial Holding Co’s (新光金控) EPS of NT$1.58.

Fubon Life Insurance Co (富邦人壽) contributed NT$9.25 billion in net profit in the quarter, 1.3 times more than the same period last year, as first-year premiums soared to NT$48.1 billion, the filing said.

Earnings at its banking unit, Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦銀行), rose 15 percent on the back of higher interest income and investment returns, Fubon Financial said.

Shin Kong Financial finished third last quarter with NT$16.63 billion in net income as the conglomerate adjusted investment portfolios and realized capital gains.

The strategy gave the conglomerate greater financial flexibility to take advantage of interest rate hikes abroad and global fund movements, the company said.

CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控) earned NT$12.23 billion in net income last quarter, a 19.7 percent increase from a year earlier, which translated into EPS of NT$0.63.

The firm’s main subsidiaries CTBC Bank (中國信託銀行) and Taiwan Life Insurance Co (台灣人壽) reported annual gains of 9 percent and 93 percent in net income respectively, it said.

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