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Cathay Financial Q1 net income surges 116% YOY

Taiwan's Cathay Financial Holding Co. Ltd. reported a 116% year-over-year surge in net income for the quarter ended March 31, as it posted a return to net commission and fee income and posted higher investment income.

The company said consolidated net income for the period more than doubled to NT$23.26 billion, or NT$1.84 per share, from NT$10.79 billion, or 85 cents per share in the prior-year period.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus mean estimate for the first quarter normalized EPS was NT$1.32, with four analysts reporting.

The company posted a net commission and fee income of NT$978 million, compared to a loss of NT$216 million a year earlier. Investment income sharply rose year over year to NT$31.16 billion from NT$5.06 billion.

Net interest income climbed to NT$41.10 billion from NT$40.53 billion, while net earned premium slipped to NT$136.37 billion from NT$143.88 billion.

The group's banking unit, Cathay United Bank Co. Ltd., said first-quarter net income grew 16% year over year to NT$5.80 billion from NT$5.01 billion.

The lender's net interest income for the period rose to NT$7.71 billion from NT$7.03 billion, while fee income climbed to NT$4.48 billion from NT$3.85 billion. Investment income amounted to NT$2.08 billion, up from NT$1.47 billion.

Net operating income climbed to NT$14.45 billion from NT$12.63 billion, while net provisions for possible losses increased to NT$433 million from NT$370 million in the first quarter of 2017.

Cathay United Bank's net interest margin for the quarter stood at 1.24%, up from 1.11% in the first quarter of 2017 and from 1.18% at the end of 2017. Its nonperforming loan ratio clocked in 0.20%, up from 0.19% in the same period last year, but down from 0.21% at the end of 2017.

Further, Cathay Life Insurance Co. Ltd.'s net income surged 226% year over year to NT$16.73 billion from NT$5.13 billion last year.

Net written premium dropped to NT$132.25 billion from NT$140.11 billion. Net earned premium fell to NT$132.52 billion from NT$140.49 billion.

Fee income for the quarter totaled NT$2.66 billion, up from NT$2.59 billion in the prior-year period. Net investment income increased to NT$63.08 billion from NT$46.70 billion.

As of May 14, US$1 was equivalent to NT$29.79.