Fri, May 11, 2018 - Page 12 News List

CTBC still hoping for foothold in Malaysia

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控) yesterday said it was still interested in gaining a foothold in Malaysia despite an earlier setback, calling it the missing piece of its Southeast Asian expansion.

“We would reactivate assessment plans when opportunity presents itself,” financial management department head Chiu Ya-ling (邱雅玲) told a media briefing in Taipei.

The market might turn friendly following the opposition win in Malaysia’s general elections on Wednesday, she said.

“While the political transition might take some time to settle, we will pay close attention to any policy change,” she said.

The conglomerate in April 2016 announced that it had clinched a US$189 million deal to fully acquire Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC’s (RBS) Malaysian unit, but the deal fell through that August after Malaysian authorities withheld approval, reportedly because they thought the offer was too modest.

However, analysts have said that foreign banks are not welcome in Malaysia and a turnabout in attitude is unlikely.

The group’s main subsidiary, CTBC Bank (中信銀行), plans to add a branch in Shanghai and a sub-branch in Shenzhen later this year as well as opening a new branch in Los Angeles, California.

Chiu expects the profit growth momentum seen last quarter to extend into this quarter, aided by a stable economy at home and abroad, as the macro-environment is favorable for a growth in interest, fee and investment incomes.

Interest income rose 7.2 percent last quarter from a year earlier, but net interest margin fell one basis point to 1.48 percent due to portfolio adjustments, she said.

Fee income picked up 1.5 percent year-on-year on the back of better wealth management, corporate, consumer and overseas banking operations, while its credit card and lottery divisions weakened modestly, company data showed.

CTBC Financial earned NT$3.36 billion (US$112.48 million) in net income last month, lifting cumulative net profits to NT$15.59 billion for the first four months of the year, or earnings per share of NT$0.8.

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