Wing Hang Bank

Wing Hang Bank increases net profit 21.3pc to record HK$2.19 billion

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 March, 2014, 1:05pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 March, 2014, 12:52am

Wing Hang Bank, the second-largest family-controlled lender in the city, made record profits last year because of higher net interest income and capital gains from the disposal of properties and financial assets.

Net profit for Wing Hang, which is negotiating with Singapore's Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp on the terms of a possible sale, jumped 21.3 per cent to HK$2.19 billion.

The bank proposed a final dividend of HK$1.62 per share, unchanged from a year earlier.

"The record profit came mainly from the gain on property sales," said Patrick Fung Yuk-bun, Wing Hang's chairman and chief executive. "These are not recurring income and we take into account the preservation of capital to meet the Basel III requirement [on dividend policy]."

Gains from revaluation of properties and disposals of financial assets nearly doubled to HK$526 million.

The bank's core tier-1 capital ratio rose 2 percentage points to 12 per cent at the end of last year.

Wing Hang's possible sale to OCBC could potentially be the third family-controlled bank in Hong Kong to be foreign-owned since 2007. Wing Lung Bank was sold to China Merchants Bank in 2009 and Chong Hing Bank was bought by Guangzhou government-backed Yue Xiu this year.

Fung declined to comment on the talks. "There are so many reasons for consolidation in the market," he said.

The bank's net interest margin, a measure of lending profitability, rose 0.09 percentage point to 1.71 per cent. Fung said he expected it to remain stable this year.

Outstanding loans grew 18.6 per cent, while deposits rose 9.3 per cent. Wing Hang said its strategy would remain focused on yuan-related businesses.