E. Sun Financial Holding Co (玉山金控) aims to expand profits aggressively this year by focusing on the fast-growing credit card and wealth management businesses, company president Joseph Huang (黃男州) said yesterday.
“We’re confident of a double-digit increase in profitability this year fueled by aggressive credit card business” at the banking subsidiary, E. Sun Commercial Bank (玉山銀行), Huang told reporters on the sidelines of a public function in Taipei.
The bank, the group’s main source of income, aims to be one of the top three credit card issuers this year, from the fourth place after Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託商銀), Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行) and Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), Huang said.
With 2.88 million credit cards in circulation, E. Sun Bank reported NT$14.5 billion (US$491 million) in credit card charges last month, an increase of 20.83 percent from the same period a year earlier, Huang said.
The lender expects total credit card fees to pick up 15 percent this year from last year, giving it a market share of 10 percent, from the present 8.5 percent, he said.
To broaden its customer base, E. Sun Bank yesterday entered into an alliance with US nutrition and skin-care product supplier Hearbalife, after securing a partnership with Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福), the largest hypermarket chain operator here, last year.
The bank also expects much more from its wealth management business, which generated more than NT$20 billion in fee income last month, compared with the monthly average of NT$160 million earned last year, Huang said.
“We’ll offer a more diversified array of wealth management products to meet customer needs, in good and bad times,” he said.
The lender also aims to strengthen lending to small and medium-sized companies this year with its loan demand expected to expand by double digits in terms of value, he said.
E. Sun Financial posted NT$558.31 million in net profit last month, translating into earnings of NT$0.12 per share, compared with NT$0.81 for the whole of last year.
The banking unit generated NT$584.11 million net income last month, while the venture capital subsidiary incurred net losses of NT$4.67 million, company data showed.
“The figures spell a good start this year,” Huang said, adding that lower provision will help boost earnings.
The one-off provision of NT$2.3 billion in November last year to meet tightened statutory requirement substantially weakened the lender’s net income last year at NT$3.11 billion as of December, he said.
Net interest income, a key gauge of banks’ profitability, may climb 7 basis points this year after staying flat at 1.25 percent last month from December, he said.