Wing Lung Bank turns 60 with $391m profit
WING Lung Bank, which celebrated its 60th anniversary yesterday, has declared net profits of $391 million for 1992, up 28 per cent from the previous year and in line with expectations.
Earnings per share were $4.37, up seven per cent over $4.09 a year earlier.
To celebrate the anniversary, the family-run bank has showered its shareholders with a one-for-four bonus share issue and a bonus dividend.
Directors declared a final dividend of $1.32 a share which, added to the interim dividend of 40 cents a share, brings the total for the year to $1.72, up marginally from the 1991 figure of $1.70.
The bonus share issue will be granted in the form of one new $5 share for every four shares held, for a total of $111.97 million to be drawn from the bank's general reserve.
The bonus dividend is 38 cents a share, bringing the total payout for the year to $2.10, up 23.5 per cent from 1991.
Bank of East Asia set the tempo of this year's results season with a reported increase in profits for 1992 of 36 per cent.
Wing Lung's total current, deposit and other accounts grew 12.7 per cent to $21.9 million.
Consolidated total assets rose 13.4 per cent to $24 billion.
As part of its 60th anniversary celebrations, Wing Lung has set up a charitable foundation, the Wing Lung Bank Foundation, which will donate $5 million to the Baptist College.
Wing Lung's share price has performed exceptionally well in recent months, climbing nearly 49 per cent from a three-month low of $55.50 on December 3 to reach a high of $82.50 at yesterday's close.
But analysts said trading liquidity was poor. Of the 30 per cent of the bank's total share capital in free float, only 10 per cent was actively traded.
The share price, driven upwards by uncertain forces, was now too expensive, one analyst said.