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FHCs pull in more than NT$70 billion in the first quarter

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The first-quarter net income of Taiwan's financial holding companies (FHCs) reached a new high of NT$70.1 billion, with Cathay Financial Holding (國泰金控) seeing the largest annual growth of 78 percent.

According to Economic Daily, 15 listed FHCs operating in Taiwan reported a 20-percent annual growth to NT$70.1 billion in combined net income, the highest level in history.

Among the 15 companies, Fubon Financial Holding Co. (富邦金控), Cathay Financial Holding Co. and Mega Financial Holding Co. (兆豐金控) played the most significant parts, leading the profitability of Taiwan's FHCs to new high.

Fubon Financial Holding Co. scored net income of NT$13.52 billion in the first three months for a sharp annual growth of 33 percent, with earnings per share (EPS) of NT$1.32, remaining the top earner among Taiwan's FHCs.

Despite being the most profitable FHC in Taiwan, Fubon Financial Holding Co.'s lead is gradually threatened as Cathay Financial Holding Co. registered a sizable growth of 78 percent year-over-year for the first-quarter net income.

Trailing Fubon Financial Holding Co., Cathay Financial Holding Co. gained net income of NT$12.31 billion in the first quarter. However, Cathay Financial Holding Co. gained profits of NT$3.76 billion and NT$4.51 billion in February and March, higher than Fubon's corresponding NT$3.72 billion and NT$3.09 billion.

Local media reported that Fubon Financial Holding Co. and Cathay Financial Holding Co. have banking and life insurance affiliates that are major profit contributors.

Cathay Financial Holding Co. lost 0.55 percent to close at NT$45.00, while Fubon Financial Holding Co. rose 0.12 percent to end at NT$41.85.

Also with a life insurance firm, Shin Kong Financial Holding Co. (新光金控) saw profits plunge 30.85 percent from a year earlier to NT$1.36 million in the first three month with EPS of NT$0.13, the lowest among Taiwan's FHCs.

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