Wed, Jul 11, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Financial groups post significant gains

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s financial conglomerates reported significant earnings increases in the first half of this year, as economic expansions at home and abroad helped bolster product sales and investment gains.

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) outperformed its local peers in profitability by accumulating NT$31.22 billion (US$1.03 billion) over the first six months, or earnings per share (EPS) of NT$2.91, the group said in a statement released yesterday.

The results represented a 67 percent spike from the same period last year after a hefty one-off tax of NT$4.66 billion on retained earnings, it said.

An improving economy made sales of life insurance policies easier and enabled Fubon Life Insurance Co (富邦人壽) to more than double its net income from a year earlier to NT$19.15 billion, it said.

The life insurance arm also benefited from dividend incomes from its capital investments and is to book more in the current quarter, when most listed firms distribute dividends, it said.

Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦銀行) also fared well, as evidenced by a 20 percent pickup in net income amounting to NT$10.34 billion as of last month, it said.

Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), the nation’s largest financial conglomerate by assets, ranked second with NT$37.65 billion, or EPS of NT$2.71, for the first half of the year, its statement said.

Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) generated nearly 60 percent of the group’s earnings, thanks partly to a 64 percent improvement in first-year premiums after the insurer adopted a value-oriented strategy, which assigned similar importance to protection-type and unit-linked insurance policies, the statement said.

The banking arm, Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行), reported stable growth in lending, wealth management, credit cards and other core businesses, it said, adding that the bank would continue its efforts to raise demand deposit ratios and upgrade its asset quality.

Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) last month posted NT$1.98 billion in losses, although it managed to keep the No. 3 berth in the first half with an EPS of NT$1.52, the conglomerate said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

The insurance-focused firm incurred foreign-exchange losses for yuan-based assets that weakened more than 3 percent last month amid trade war fears, it said.

Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) bore the brunt with losses of NT$1.85 billion for last month, more than muting Shin Kong Commercial Bank’s (新光銀行) net profit of NT$438 million, it said.

CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控) ranked fourth with earnings of NT$21.9 billion in the first six months, or EPS of NT$1.12, the group said in a statement.

The results suggested a 13 percent improvement from the same period last year.

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