Mon, Jul 15, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Cathay Financial reports 43 percent increase in net profit to NT$4.99bn

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) reported a 43 percent year-on-year jump in net profit to NT$4.99 billion (US$160.5 million) for last month, driven by earnings growth at its banking unit Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行) and insurance arm Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽).

However, Cathay Life’s profits declined from a month earlier due to foreign-exchange losses of NT$4.5 billion, compared with gains of NT$8.9 billion in May.

In the first six months, the insurer reported forex gains of NT$4.4 billion, Cathay Life executive vice president Lin Chao-ting (林昭廷) told the Taipei Times by telephone on Thursday.

Cathay Life reported a 21 percent drop in net profit to NT$19.69 billion in the first half of the year, which Lin attributed to a higher comparison base last year because of a change in tax policy.

Excluding the tax factor, pretax profits in the first six months rose to NT$22.7 billion from a year earlier, he said.

“The first half of this year was better than our forecast. The US Federal Reserve has indicated that it might cut interest rates this year, which would narrow the interest rate spread between Taiwan and the US, and ease our hedging cost burden,” Lin said.

Cathay United Bank reported earnings of NT$2.19 billion last month on the back of steady fee income, while its cumulative profit for the first six months surged 14 percent to NT$19.6 billion.

In the January-to-June period, Cathay Financial reported NT$33.99 billion in cumulative net income, down 5.8 percent from a year earlier, or earnings per share (EPS) of NT$2.94, Cathay Financial said.

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) posted net profit of NT$3.8 billion last month, up 47 percent year-on-year, while its profit for the first half of this year plunged 11.5 percent to NT$27.6 billion, or EPS of NT$2.7.

In the first six months, Fubon Life Insurance Co (富邦人壽) reported net profit of NT$10.8 billion, a 47 percent fall from a year earlier, while Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦銀行) saw net income rise 7 percent to NT$11 billion on the back of higher interest income.

CTBC Financial Holding Co’s (中國信託金控) net profit increased 11 percent to NT$3.2 billion last month, while cumulative profit for the first six months fell 7 percent to NT$20.3 billion, or EPS of NT$1.01.

Overall, with global financial markets recovering last month, Taiwan’s 15 financial holding companies saw their combined net profit jump 37 percent year-on-year to NT$28.66 billion, but their cumulative profit for the first half declined 3.5 percent annually to NT$181 billion, their data showed.

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