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Financial firms to kick off investors' quarterly meetings during week

The China Post news staff--Taiwan's financial holding companies will hold their quarterly investors' meetings starting this week and are expected to speak on various topics, including their earnings prospects and operations in China, experts said.

E.Sun, a Taiwanese financial holding firm, has already held its investors' conference. Its data indicated that financial firms' profitability in the third quarter is expected to be higher than the second, thanks to earnings from interest rates and processing fees.

The rest of Taiwan's financial holding firms will begin holding meetings this week, with Chinatrust Financial leading the pack tomorrow. Experts are mostly optimistic about the business prospects of Chinatrust Financial, whose banking unit, Chinatrust Commercial Bank, recently won the bid to offer the lotteries for the next ten years.

According to experts, the offering of lottery tickets will be beneficial to Chinatrust's wealth management business, which can directly contact lottery winners and offer them wealth management services that include insurance, mutual funds and mortgage loans.

Cathay Financial, meanwhile, will hold its meeting on Nov. 2. While the firm has already reported a record high profit for the third quarter, all eyes will be watching what the firm has to say about its insurance business, which may be affected by recent stock instability. Meanwhile, with no more cash dividend incomes coming in, Cathay's insurance unit may encounter a reduction in investment gains. A low-interest environment may also erode its earnings.

Besides Chinatrust and Cathay, Shin Kong Financial will hold its online investors' conference on Nov. 1. The firm's stock recently went on a losing streak after major shareholder Dai-Ichi Life got rid of its holdings in the firm. Friday, Shin Kong closed at NT$7.5, approaching its historic low of NT$6.3 and the NT$6.35 reached during the height of the global financial crisis. It is expected that the financial firm's capital adequacy ratio and profitability will be a main focus for investors.

Investors' conferences will also be held by Taishin Financial, SinoPac Financial and Fubon Financial. Quasi-state financial firms have yet to announce their conference dates, and it is expected their meetings will be concentrated at the end of November.

Besides profitability and fourth quarter business prospects, financial firms' operational status on the other side of the strait will also be a focus for investors. SinoPac recently received approval to set up a banking subsidiary in China, becoming Taiwan's first financial firm to do so. The timing and the way with which the subsidiary will be established will be of interest to investors, experts said.

According to the Financial Supervisory Commission, thus far Taiwan financial firms eligible to run small-scale loan businesses in China include Fubon, SinoPac and Chinatrust. How these firms will offer consumer banking services in China will be closely watched, experts said.

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