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E.Sun Bank looks toward e-commerce and overseas

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- E.Sun Financial Holding Co. (玉山金) yesterday highlighted recent progress made by its banking arm in expanding toward the electronic commerce and overseas markets, in the company's earnings conference.

Over the course of last year the company garnered revenues of NT$8.46 billion, and yielded earnings of NT$1.53 per share, ranking fifth in the domestic financial sector.

Company Chairman Gary Tseng (曾國烈) made a rare appearance at yesterday's event, and stated that its subsidiary is poised to be the second Taiwanese banking branch to make landfall in the vast mainland China markets.

Most notably, Tseng remarked that the company would not be significantly be affected by the government's plan to raise the business tax on financial services, and that return-on-equities performance may be maintained at above the 10-percent benchmark.

Tseng stated that although the government had decreased the business tax on financial services from 5 percent to 2 percent following the financial crisis of 2008, the sector is still subject to higher taxes compared to the 1.14-percent business tax levied on nonfinancial companies. Tseng expressed his support in the upcoming tax reform, but appealed to governing bodies to strive toward fairness and draw advice from international conventions.

According to Tseng, the forthcoming banking subsidiary will be based in Dongguan (東莞), and established with initial capital investment of 2 billion yuan, pending regulatory approval on both sides of the strait. The subsidiary will enable the company to integrate resources and assets afforded by its existing Dongguan and Hong Kong-based branch locations, and enhance service coverage of overseas Taiwanese businesses operating in the Pearl River Delta region, said Tseng. The company's most recent board meeting also approved a move to establish a banking branch in Shenzhen.

In addition to Los Angeles and Singapore, the company is poised to establish a presence in the Cambodia market, after acquiring a 70-percent stake of the local Union Commercial Bank late last year, while establishing representative office locations in Vietnam and Myanmar.

On the electronic commerce front, the company stated that it intends to maintain its lead in the fledgling field. Currently, the company is the only bank offering consumers comprehensive third-party payment services, and the first bank to have received regulatory approval to facilitate online payments for Web-based merchants on both sides of the strait. The company listed Addcn Technology Co. (數字科技), an Internet company whose operations include operating various online apparel retail, car sales, housing sales and rental, and virtual item sales for online games as a partner for its electronic commerce endeavors.

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