Taiwan Business Bank to increase lending to SMEs
By Crystal Hsu / Staff Reporter
Taiwan Business Bank (台灣企銀) said yesterday it was looking to improve profitability this year by expanding lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and overseas operations as they generate higher margins.
The public lender made the announcement after posting net profit of NT$2.12 billion (US$72.74 million) for the first quarter – its highest level in two and a half years – or earnings per share. of NT$0.27.
The lender’s efforts to improve asset quality and diversify revenue streams have started to pay off, bank officials told an online investor conference, adding that the rise in wealth management and commission income had helped to offset the losses linked to the volatility of the financial markets.
Photo: Chen Mei-ying, Taipei Times
The uptrend is expected to continue through the end of the year, benefiting from cycles of monetary tightening at home and abroad, officials said.
In March, loans to small and medium enterprises amounted to NT$66.85 billion, an increase of 10.04 percent from the previous year, they said, adding that the business would continue to boost loan growth this year.
The interest rate spread widened from 1.31% in March to 1.42% last month, following the central bank’s interest rate hike of 25 basis points on March 17, the report said. the responsibles.
The gap would widen if the central bank raised interest rates later this year, in line with its global peers, they added.
Taiwan Business Bank said it would keep mortgage operations stable with a focus on first-time home buyers and people with real demand, while supporting selective credit checks on multi-unit mortgages.
Banks willing to provide active mortgages would need to demonstrate higher capital adequacy to meet more stringent risk requirements.
Taiwan Business Bank said it will also strive to improve the operations of its branches in Australia, China, Hong Kong and the United States, with the aim of increasing their revenue contribution to 20% this year.
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