Taiwanese banks saw earnings from overseas branches total NT$31.7 billion (US$1.03 billion) in the first half of this year, up 17.4 percent from NT$27 billion in the same period last year, statistics released on Thursday by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) showed.
At NT$16.56 billion, branches in Hong Kong contributed the greatest earnings in the first six months of the year, followed by branches in the US at NT$4.22 billion, the data showed.
Setting aside provisions for bad loans last year and improving profitability, branches in China ousted branches in Japan as the third-largest contributor at NT$3.53 billion, the data showed.
Branches in Japan ranked fourth, contributing NT$2.5 billion in earnings, ahead of branches in Cambodia at NT$870 million, the data showed.
Taiwanese banks have 19 branches in Hong Kong, where wealth management services and an array of products helped boost earnings by 26.1 percent from NT$13.13 billion a year earlier, the data showed.
Hong Kong has traditionally played a critical role in capital management for Taiwanese businesses, keeping branch earnings relatively stable, Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Sherri Chuang (莊琇媛) told a news conference on Thursday.
Branches in Cambodia entered the top five for the first time as their earnings jumped 180.65 percent from NT$310 million a year earlier, outperforming other countries targeted by the New Southbound Policy.
The commission said branches in Cambodia have high growth potential, because their earnings were relatively low compared with branches of the top four earnings contributors and because expansion of Taiwanese banks in the country is at an early stage.
Branches in Vietnam saw earnings decline to NT$840 million, down 40.4 percent from NT$1.41 billion for the same period last year, dropping the country from fifth to sixth-largest earnings contributor.
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