Dah Sing offers bonus on net jump

DAH Sing Financial Holdings has registered a 41.7 per cent rise in profit to $303.1 million for the year ended December 31.

Earnings per share were $1.52, compared with $1.14 in 1992.

The strong earnings growth prompted the group to recommend a bonus issue of one share for every eight existing shares.

The group will pay a final dividend of 39 cents a share, making a total payout of 69 cents for the year.

Dah Sing said its banking business had another record year with the successful integration of 15 of the 16 branches of Wing On Bank into Dah Sing.

The total contribution from banking operations, after tax, minority interest and inner reserve transfers, was $291.1 million, representing an increase of 56.27 per cent over the contribution in 1992.

Dah Sing's authorised and paid-up capital was increased from $300 million to $500 million.

The group's non-banking business, comprising mainly Dah Sing Life Assurance Co and the investment of its cash holdings, had improved but the servicing of the debt taken on to fund the acquisition of Wing On Bank meant the net contribution had declined.

On December 31, Dah Sing's shareholders' funds totalled $1.34 billion, compared with $1.12 billion a year earlier.

Total assets rose 54.9 per cent to $23.4 billion on a year-on-year basis. Total deposits and other accounts increased 59 per cent to $20.28 billion.

Total advances and other accounts surged 68.9 per cent to $12.5 billion.

The agreement between Dah Sing Bank and the People's Construction Bank of China (PCBC), announced on January 19, for PCBC to acquire a 40 per cent interest in Hong Kong Industrial & Commercial Bank, is expected to become unconditional by the end of next month.

Dah Sing said it was a key step for the group to participate in the growing business and financial links between Hong Kong and China.

The group is developing a business plan for the future of Wing On Bank, which it hopes will complement the group's overall business activities.

In the absence of unforeseen circumstances or material adverse changes in business conditions, Dah Sing expects to be able to recommend dividends totalling not less than 69 cents a share for this year.