Tue, Apr 17, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Waterland sees income boost on trading success

WILD RIDE:The financial service provider said all of its subsidiaries posted profits last year, but this year sees challenges from global market volatility

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Waterland Financial Holdings Co (國票金控) posted NT$659 million (US$22.4 million) in net income for last quarter, a 10.07 percent increase from the same period last year aided by improved stock brokerage and trading business, executives said yesterday.

While economic fundamentals remain healthy at home and abroad, Waterland Financial said that continued volatility across global bourses and bond markets might pose a challenge to its profitability this year.

“All subsidiaries generated profits last year, but wild volatility across global stock and bond markets are driving up hedging costs and challenging profitability this year,” executive vice president Andrew Chiu (邱銘恩) told an investors’ conference in Taipei.

The firm’s main subsidiary, International Bills Finance Corp (國際票券), which last year contributed 88 percent of earnings, saw its net income decline 5.1 percent to NT$484 million between January and last month, weighed by bond business based in foreign currencies, Chiu said.

Waterland Financial is involved in the certification and underwriting of short-term bills and financial debentures, as well as proprietary trading of government bonds, financial debentures, corporate bonds, foreign currency bonds, securities and equity-related futures. It also provides corporate finance, equity, securities investment and futures investment advisory services.

Waterland Securities (國票證券), which last year generated 9.03 percent of profits, earned NT$119 million in net income last quarter, a 22.68 percent increase from a year earlier, Chiu said.

Interest in local bourses picked up among domestic players, allowing the TAIEX to rally above 10,000 points, despite intermittent pullbacks, Chiu said.

“The backdrop enabled our brokerage and proprietary trading business to put up positive growth last quarter,” he said.

Waterland Venture Capital (國票創投), which accounted for only 2.97 percent of earnings, last quarter saw its net profit swell 3.76 times to NT$81 million, mainly due to investment in the emerging stock market, Chiu said.

The unit is to benefit further from initial public offerings by firms in which it owns stakes, Waterland Venture vice president Jack Wang (王錫榆) said.

While seeking to strengthen its core businesses, Waterland Financial would keep looking for acquisition and merger opportunities to grow its scale and diversify income sources, Chiu said.

The conglomerate remains interested in integrating with commercial banks and life insurance companies, even though earlier efforts have failed to bear fruit.

Waterland Financial plans to distribute a NT$0.77 dividend per share — NT$0.65 in cash and NT$0.12 in stock — from earnings last year, representing a 89.53 percent payout, Chiu said, adding that the proposal still requires shareholders’ approval.

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