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Taiwanese bank syndicate loans down by 30% to 40%

Syndicate loans offered by Taiwan banks have reduced by 30 to 40 percent as manufacturing activities turn slow, said Chen Chia-wen, president of Chinatrust, yesterday.

However, loan demands from China and Southeast Asia are still strong, he said. “Business from China, where net interest margin is about 2 to 3 percent, is especially bullish and has become an important source of income for us,” he said.

As for Taiwan's economy, he said it will hit the bottom in the fourth quarter. “That's the worst it will get,” he said.

His remarks echoed those made a day earlier by Cheng Chen-mao, the new president of Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance, who said Taiwan's economic growth is expected to be 1.5 percent to 1.6 percent this year and 3.67 percent next.

According to Cheng, various cross-strait economic agreements have given Taiwan's trade a major boost, amid free trade agreements signed by the United States and the European Union with South Korea, Taiwan's major competitor.

He said that stock markets across the globe have been hit by poor third quarter results announced by U.S. enterprises. Yet investors' confidence will return on new products launched by tech firms as well as stronger demand in the lead-up to the Christmas shopping season.

“The global economy is at the bottom right now and may begin to bottom out on various external factors,” he said. “In the U.S., for example, a reduction in unemployment and a rise in consumption may be seen.”

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