The nation’s financial services companies last quarter cut their combined exposure to China and Hong Kong to NT$3.515 trillion (US$115.23 billion) from NT$3.623 trillion in the second quarter due to regional economic uncertainties, a Financial Supervisory Commission official said yesterday.
Combined exposure to China at the nation’s 15 financial services firms fell 3.5 percent to NT$2.55 trillion from NT$2.64 trillion a quarter earlier, mainly because their banking unit’s call loans and deposits declined 13 percent to NT$495 billion, commission data showed.
Combined lending to China dropped 2.3 percent quarter-on-quarter to NT$722 billion, while investments remained flat at NT$1.33 trillion compared with the previous quarter, data showed.
“Judging by the aggregate amount of exposure, it seemed that local financial holding companies were being more cautious and careful about their business in China in the third quarter,” a commission official surnamed Hou (侯) told the Taipei Times by telephone.
That indicated a change in their attitude toward the market, given their combined exposure to China increased from the first quarter to the second quarter, Hou said.
Combined exposure to Hong Kong fell 1.4 percent quarter-on-quarter to NT$965 billion at the end of September, due to banking units’ call loans and deposits falling 5 percent to NT$58 billion, as well as a slight cutback in lending and investment, data showed.
Cathay Financial Holding Co’s (國泰金控) banking unit trimmed its lending to China as it became more conservative amid higher uncertainty, company spokesman Daniel Teng (鄧崇儀) said by telephone.
Meanwhile, Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) kept its investment in China unchanged as it only makes up a small percentage of its investments, executive vice president Lin Chao-ting (林昭廷) said.
Overall, China and Hong Kong remained local financial services companies’ second and fourth-largest markets respectively in terms of exposure, data showed.
The companies’ combined exposure to the other eight markets in the top 10 — Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, the UK and the US — grew from a quarter earlier, with exposure to South Korea reporting the biggest quarterly increase of 7.6 percent to NT$494 billion, data showed.
Combined exposure to Vietnam and Thailand advanced 11 percent quarter-on-quarter to NT$197 billion and NT$128 billion respectively, as oversea banking units increased their lending in the two markets, data showed.
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