Taiwan’s 15 financial conglomerates last week reported a record combined net profit of NT$349.95 billion (US$11.66 billion) for last year, up 19.16 percent year-on-year, due to an increase in interest income from their banking units and higher investment returns after the TAIEX moved above 12,000 points for the first time since 1990.
Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), the nation’s largest financial holding firm by assets, was the most profitable among the 15, reporting net income of NT$63.8 billion, or earnings per share (EPS) of NT$4.76.
The company attributed its strong results to Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽), a life insurance subsidiary that accounted for 60 percent of its total profit, saying that the insurer’s net income grew 26 percent to NT$38.26 billion thanks to higher investment returns from domestic and foreign securities, as well as strong demand for protection-type products.
In addition, the company’s banking arm, Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行), posted a 6 percent increase in profit on the back of growing interest and fee incomes, it said.
In terms of EPS, Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) ranked first among the 15. The nation’s second-largest financial holding firm posted EPS of NT$5.48 on net income of NT$58.7 billion for last year, due to contributions from its life insurance and banking units.
The company said that Fubon Life Insurance Co (富邦人壽) made NT$26.4 billion in net profit last year, even though the insurance unit reported a net loss of NT$1.73 billion last month, as it set aside NT$3 billion for foreign-exchange reserves.
While many of its peers reported declines in first-year premiums because some short-term products were halted, Fubon Life’s first-year premiums rose 8 percent to NT$206.3 billion, Fubon Financial said.
Meanwhile, Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank’s (台北富邦銀行) profit grew 10 percent on the back of higher interest income and investment returns, Fubon Financial said.
Other financial holding companies that also reported record profits last year included CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控), Yuanta Financial Holding Co (元大金控), E.Sun Financial Holding Co (玉山金控), Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) and state-run Taiwan Cooperative Financial Holding Co (合庫金控).
China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控) posted an annual increase of 64 percent in net income to NT$12.85 billion, the highest in 13 years, in light of improving business at its banking, insurance and securities brokerage units, the company said.
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