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Fubon Financial remains top earner among 15 listed peers

TAIPEI--Fubon Financial Holding Co. retained the title as the top earner among the 15-listed financial holding companies in Taiwan in the first four months of this year, market statistics showed Saturday.

According to the statistics, Fubon Financial posted NT$16.69 billion (US$554 million) in net profit or NT$1.63 in earnings per share from January to April.

That was higher than the NT$12.42 billion in net profit or NT$1.30 in EPS recorded over the same period of last year.

Market analysts said Fubon Financial benefited from profit growth generated by its flagship banking and life insurance subsidiaries — Fubon Commercial Bank and Fubon Life Insurance — to maintain its lead in the local financial sector.

Cathay Financial Holding Co. came in second by reporting NT$15.4 billion in net profit or NT$1.28 after Cathay Life Insurance and Cathay United Bank posted more than NT$15 billion in combined net profit in the four-month period.

Mega Financial Holding Co. grasped the third place in profitability during this period by reporting NT$10.57 billion, up almost 30 percent from a year earlier, with EPS at NT$0.85.

The three financial holding companies were the only ones among the 15 listed financial holding firms to report a net profit of more than NT$10 billion in the first four months of this year.

During this period, the 15 financial holding companies posted NT$88.7 billion in net profit, up 18.41 percent year-on-year, the statistics indicated.

However, in April alone, the companies reported a 22.78-percent decline from a month earlier after the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange fell 0.65 percent in the month, analysts said.

They said non-economic factors, such as protests against a trade-in-services agreement signed by Taiwan and China in June 2013 and opposition against the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, also impacted the business conditions in the local banking and insurance sectors during the month of April.

They added that as financial authorities have tightened their monitoring on trading of financial derivatives, certain financial institutions which have large derivative trading portfolios have felt the impact.

In the past four months, Taishin Financial Holding Co. took fourth place in profitability with NT$0.77 in EPS. It was ahead of CTBC Financial Holding Co. and E. Sun Financial Holding Co., which enjoyed NT$0.66 in EPS each, First Financial Holding Co. with NT$0.58, and SinoPac Financial Holdings Co. with NT$0.44, the statistics showed.

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