State-run Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (CHB, 彰化銀行) aims to grow its profit this year at a slightly faster rate than the nation’s GDP growth, driven by overseas operations and lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), officials said yesterday.
The bank posted NT$12.6 billion (US$407.74 million) in net income for last year, a 4.58 percent annual increase and translating into earnings per share of NT$1.29.
Pretax profit rose 3.71 percent to NT$14.71 billion, more than meeting a target of NT$14.5 billion, company data showed.
“We will pursue stable profit growth this year by strengthening core operations and tapping into digital banking, despite growing economic uncertainty,” Chang Hwa Commercial Bank chairman Chang Ming-daw (張明道) told a media briefing.
The bank plans to increase loans by 3 percent from last year, which is modestly higher than the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics’ projected GDP growth of 2.27 percent, Chang said.
The economic environment in Taiwan is not as gloomy as expected and the bank would be more flexible with its credit and capital when meeting its business target, Chang said.
SME loans might increase 5 to 6 percent this year, in line with last year’s 5.8 percent annual pickup, Chang Hwa Commercial Bank president David Chang (張鴻基) said.
The lender would focus on companies targeted by the government’s “five plus two” innovative industries plan and those with operations in Southeast Asia to support the government’s industrial policy, he said.
Overseas and offshore operations, which generated 42 percent of the bank’s overall earnings last year, are expected to contribute 47 to 48 percent this year, as branches in the Philippines and China might start to bear fruit, the lender said.
The bank hopes to open a branch in Houston, Texas, to expand its services in the US, company officials said, adding that the branch could be launched later this year if authorities give their approval.
Chang Hwa Commercial Bank also plans to add 250 workers to investigate business opportunities linked to financial technology, which is shaking up the banking industry, Chang Ming-daw said.
While the lender is not vying for Web-only banking licenses, it has no intention of sitting out the digital revolution, the chairman said.
This recruitment round is mainly targeting people with expertise in cybersecurity, e-commerce and information technology, he said.
Chang Hwa Commercial Bank generated NT$2.24 billion in net income for the first two months of this year, or earnings per share of NT$0.23, company data showed.
RESTRUCTURING: Taichung and Taoyuan profited most from local firms moving back high-end manufacturing amid the US-China decoupling of trade ties, the ministry said The government’s “Invest in Taiwan” initiative might this year see NT$627.1 billion (US$21.7 billion) of investment pledges realized, with several firms raising stakes and two dropouts due to customer losses, Minister of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday. Wang made the statement at the monthly meeting of the Third Wednesday Club, a local trade group featuring the top 100 firms of each business sector. Since early last year, the government has launched three programs intended to help local companies grapple with US-China trade rows and the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly through moving production lines back to Taiwan. Thus far, the ministry
JOBS AT RISK? Most Cathay Dragon routes are to be operated by Cathay Pacific or a subsidiary, but it was unclear how Taiwanese workers would be affected Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) yesterday said it is planning new flight services for Taiwan as it announced a corporate restructuring that included the shutdown of its regional subsidiary, Cathay Dragon (國泰港龍), and could lead to job cuts in Taiwan. Cathay Pacific said the shutdown means that the one round-trip service between Taichung and Hong Kong per day and seven round-trip services between Kaohsiung and Hong Kong operated by Cathay Dragon prior to the COVID-19 pandemic would be terminated. “The parent company is planning a new schedule between Taiwan and Hong Kong,” Cathay Pacific assistant manager for corporate communications Moses Hou (侯恩錫)
OVERHEATED MARKET?: The gauge would be designed to provide more reliable information than private-sector data, and help improve policymaking, the council said The National Development Council (NDC) is considering creating a business climate index on Taiwan’s property market, allowing policymakers to better monitor market movements and intervene if necessary, NDC Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said yesterday. Kung made the remarks at a meeting of the legislature’s Economic Committee where lawmakers from across party lines voiced concerns about housing price hikes driven by capital repatriation. Kung said that the council is assessing the possibility of creating an index designed to provide more accountable and transparent information than data provided by private-sector market analysts, and could help improve policymaking. The council would compile a report on
STOCK MARKETS TAIEX closes slightly higher The TAIEX closed slightly higher yesterday as market sentiment remained cautious over the Nov. 3 US presidential election. Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) was again the anchor stabilizing the broader market, preventing the main board from falling into negative territory at the end of the session, dealers said. The TAIEX closed up 14.88 points, or 0.12 percent, at 12,877.25, on turnover of NT$167.982 billion (US$5.81 billion). TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, rose 0.44 percent after fluctuating between NT$451 and NT$456. The semiconductor subindex and the bellwether electronics sector