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Edited Transcript of 2892.TW earnings conference call or presentation 27-Feb-20 8:30am GMT

Q4 2019 First Financial Holding Co Ltd Earnings Presentation

Taipei Mar 18, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of First Financial Holding Co Ltd earnings conference call or presentation Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 8:30:00am GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Annie Lee

First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department

* K. C. Lee

First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional

* Keith Ke

First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional

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Presentation

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [1]

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Hi. I am K. C. Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to joining us for First Financial Holding's 2019 Full Year Earnings Result Webcast Investor Conference. As usual, we will start with our presentation, including 2019 performance summary, financial highlights and operating results. After the presentation, we will invite Ms. Annie Lee, our IR Head, to proceed to Q&A session. (Operator Instructions)

Now I would like to turn over to Mr. Keith Ke to begin today's presentation. Keith?

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Keith Ke, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [2]

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Thank you, K. C. Okay, please turn to Slide 5. On this slide, it shows the group's historical earnings trend in recent years. Recovering from a setback in 2017, group reported a historical high of TWD 19.4 billion earnings, with 11.8% growth Y-o-Y in 2019.

Please turn to next slide. As we said, group generated TWD 19.4 billion net income last year with 11.8% growth. As for the breakdown, bank had 8.5% earnings growth Y-o-Y, which was still a major subsidiary to support the group's profits. On the other hand, First Life also posted TWD 244 million earnings for the first time ever since it's established in 2008.

Summarizing the top line performance of 2019, net interest income reached about 3% due to narrowing (inaudible). However, loan growth still maintained the impact of the 4.2% growth. Although FX loan dropped 1.2% Y-o-Y, it's mainly because of the NT dollar appreciation. But if we're using the U.S. dollars as basic, FX loan would still maintain a 1.3% growth Y-o-Y.

Bank have sold plenty of deposits in 2019. NT dollar deposits grew by 11% Y-o-Y, and FX deposits also increased 11.1% under U.S. dollar basis. This indicates the potential growth measurement could be coming in the year.

Management team consider it is the cause for the overall macro in 2020 due to the COVID-19 issue. Postponed consumption and credit duration would be expected.

Bank had already initiated related policies, such as loan extension and the deferred mortgage payment, trying to overcome the downturn. Risk management team also have mechanism to avoid the potential risk expansion.

Okay, let's move to financial highlights. Please turn to Slide 8. This slide provides the group's key figures. Consolidated net income grew by 11.8%, as we mentioned, and EPS also increased to TWD 1.55 from TWD 1.39 last year. ROAE was 9.11%, with 6.2% growth. Please take other figures as a reference.

And Slide 9 shows the breakdown of group's net income. The growing net income was bolstered by 3.4% growth net revenue and especially largely reduced from bank's credit charge.

And the Slide 10 shows the net income from major subsidiaries. Not only bank and insurance generated good results, as we mentioned, securities also reported a TWD 272 million net income, which was 139% increase Y-o-Y.

Let's move to the next part, operating result of 2019. Please turn to Slide 12. This slide shows the group's and bank's net income and the annualized ROAE. Again, group total net income was TWD 19.4 billion, with 9.11% ROAE. Bank's net income also achieved TWD 19 billion and its ROAE was 8.97%.

Please turn to Slide 13. This slide shows the breakdown of the bank's earnings structure. Total net revenue grew by 2.8% in 2019 and was mainly underpinned by the 22% growth from investment gains and also 22% reduced of credit charge. At our core earnings, net interest income reached 3% due to NII rates strictly (inaudible). And the fee income growth 3.9% growth Y-o-Y, with the loan-related fee income and also [pressured] the revenue in fourth quarter.

Please turn to Slide 14 for loan book breakdown. Total loan book increased 4.2% Y-o-Y, reaching TWD 1.7 billion. Mortgage and corporation loans were the key drivers. Mortgage had 6.8% (sic) [6.4%] growth and large corporate loan increased 6.6% Y-o-Y. SME improved 4.2% Y-o-Y as well.

FX loans ended with 1.2% decrease, which was impacted by the U.S. dollar depreciation and the U.S. rate cut. Overseas loan book still maintained 1.9% growth.

Slide 15 further shows the Q-o-Q trend of the loan book. Again, mortgage, SME and large corp were the other drivers. Please take it as reference.

Let's take a look at the bank's LDR, spread and NIM. Please turn to Slide 16. LDR dropped to 74.3%, and the NT dollar LDR was down to 77.5% with strong deposits growth to fulfill company at 72.2% for a mortgage book expansion. And FX LDR also fell to 64.2%, mainly because of the decrease of FX loan demand. Loan-to-deposit spread dropped another 1 bps to 1.59%, and the NIM also decreased 1 bps to 1.06%.

Please turn to the next slide. Slide 17 shows the breakdown of Q-o-Q NT dollar spread and the FX spread trend. NT dollar spread dipped 1 bps to 1.38%. However, FX spread continued to drop another 8 bps to 2.18%, which was impacted by the U.S. rate cut.

Please move to Slide 18. Total deposits increased to 10.3% Y-o-Y, which we had explained earlier. NT dollar deposit grew by 11% Y-o-Y. FX deposit also increased to 8.4% under NT dollar basis. We mentioned earlier, if counting by U.S. dollar, the growth would be even much. NT dollar costs are basically due 67.13% comparing with the first half but increased a little bit if comparing with the number of the third quarter.

Please turn to Slide 19. This slide shows the loan book concentration. We also point out the hotel and the dining sector this time, since there will be more people concerned about the exposure. And it's only 2.3%. Please take that as reference.

Let's move to Slide 20. This slide presents the mortgage book. Top right chart shows the mortgage yield and the LTV ratio. Mortgage yield did another 1 bps to 1.76% comparing with last quarter. New mortgage LTV ratio dropped to 64.2% while average mortgage LTV ratio was slightly up to 45.8%. Bottom bar chart displays the monthly new mortgage lending and the [average amounts] (inaudible) quarter.

Please turn to next slide for fee income. Total net fee income was TWD 7.86 billion, with 3.9% growth in 2019. Thanks for the good performance in fourth quarter to rally back the growth rate, wealth management fee income ended at 3.9% growth, and loan-related fee income increased by 7.2% Y-o-Y.

Next slide shows the Q-o-Q trend of net fee income. As we said, the tremendous output in fourth quarter lifted the Q-o-Q growth to 8.5%, especially for bancassurance, 12.6% growth, and also the loan-related fee income, 23.3% growth.

Please turn to Slide 23. Total operating expense increased to 4.8% Y-o-Y in 2019. And the CI ratio was 44%, which was a little bit higher compared with the figure of the end of 2018, but the ratio was still relatively stable.

Let's move to asset quality. Please turn to Slide 24. Coverage ratio continued to rise up to 528%. NPL ratio dropped another 2 bps to 0.24%. Overall, I should say, asset quality was still under control.

Next slide displays the breakdown of NPL ratios. Individual NPL ratio grew to 0.22%. Mortgage NPL ratio also decreased to 0.19%. Some new influx started to lift the NPL ratio to 0.42%, while large corporate NPL ratio lowered down to only 0.03%. Overall to say, domestic NPL ratio stayed at 0.28%, and the overseas NPL ratio was down to 0.08%.

Please turn to Slide 26. New influx of fourth quarter increased to TWD 1.37 billion and most of this from the SME sector, as we mentioned, which we need to be more cautious. Recovery was stable with TWD 851 million this fourth quarter.

Let's move to Slide 27, the overseas profit. The pretax overseas -- pretax profits of overseas branches over -- total profits [cumulative] at 44.9%. OPU occupied about 40% of total overseas profits. Hong Kong, North America and Asia were still a major region to contribute profits. Please take the top left pie chart as reference.

Let's move to Slide 28. Group's CAR decreased a little bit to 119%. Bank's CAR ended at 13%. And the Tier 1 target at 11.1% at the end of 2019, which was quite stable.

Okay. That's the presentation. I will turn back the microphone to K. C.

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Questions and Answers

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [1]

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Thank you, Keith. Now we have questions coming in, and let me refresh the coming questions.

Well, I think the first question is about our 2020 guidance. So I'd like to start from here, and introduce our Head, Annie. She's going to host the Q&A session. Hi, Annie.

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [2]

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Hi.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [3]

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Okay. Let's start with our first question. That's questions first from (inaudible). He wants to know that what's our fiscal year 2020 guidance. Can anybody give us another breakdown for the 2020 guidance in terms of the [growth for] fee income, credit card and the operating expense? Thank you.

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [4]

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Thank you, K. C. Okay. Let me start from our projection for loan growth. We originally predicted our loan growth for this year's target is about 7% to 8% after we have booked about more than 4% growth last year mainly driven by different sectors across the SME, mortgage and overseas pockets. We're particularly keen to further penetrate into the mortgage sector and the SME, the overseas market as well.

In terms of the different markets, we are also very keen to further expand it to the ASEAN countries or in the United States, North America. So we put a more aggressive target to grow our FX loan book by 11% to 12% for this year.

In terms of the NIM expansion, in view of the slower -- I mean, the slowing rate environment, so the rate cut in U.S. market did impact the NIM expansion for us, particularly with our FX lending portfolio account for nearly 24% something. So that impact our FX lending spread, which transferred into the whole NIM performance. That's why we have the more conservative projection for this year's NIM prediction around just 1% to 1.02%, which is slightly lower than that of last year, about 1.06%.

Talking about the fee revenue, last year, we actually booked a more moderate performance, to grow just around 3% to 4% for the total fee revenue. So this year, based on the low period assumption, we project high single-digit growth for fee revenue around 8% to 9%, mainly driven by 2 parts. One is the wealth management and the other will be FX -- sorry, FX and the loan-related business.

All these factors will contribute to our more robust fee revenue, around 8% to 9%. We are also quite keen to further develop our treasury business, so after we booked nearly 21% to 22% growth on the treasury business, this year, we're still targeting more than 10% growth on our treasury gains.

Talking about the costs side, we already passed the peak of our -- I mean, delinquent -- after the [change] in appeal about 2 years ago. So for this year's credit cost, the net credit costs are forecast a level around about 18 to 19 bps from the beginning of 2020, and this is what the projection for this year's key figures.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [5]

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Okay. Thank you. And another following question is about our NIM. It seems that this question is raised from [Justin] of (inaudible). [Mr. Chan] hopes to know that big domestic banks are facing the traditional NII actually declining, so some of the competitors have moved their pattern to fee income revenue instead of net interest income. So how does First Bank to be at such a difficult situation about the capacity fee income revenue environment. What's the -- your strategy?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [6]

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Well, the lending business tend to be our traditional niche when we compete in the market, no matter if it is domestic or overseas, as most of our clientele base will still need financing from us for them to expand their business domestic or in other markets.

So even though the NIM compression was quite fierce in the existing environment, however, we still have to support our -- I mean, we still have to play the key role in the market so as to act as a key player. So we not just try to grow our loan book in a more healthy way by a more selective basis, but also try to penetrate into some related treasury activities like FX swap or hedge transaction to help the client to cover the risk in the volatile market -- capital markets or FX -- or currency markets.

In other parts of the revenue for fee -- in the fee front, we try to help the client to manage their wealth while they expand their business or how to manage their cash in different -- I mean, different segments. So for fee revenue, we further strengthened our product delivery to help clients manage their wealth and to help them hedge their risk while they operate in different markets. And also, we would charge some fees for the loan-related, including so-called syndication lending or other commitment fees for our clients.

So all of this would demonstrate how we diversify our revenue source apart from our traditional niche for the lending business. And not to mention that we have to first to support the basic loan demand from our clients before we can actually help them or give more other related transaction, including treasury or fee base. This will be the basis of our business model.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [7]

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Okay. Thank you. And another question that looks to about the COVID-19, the coronavirus impact. Many of our investors are concerned about the impact to our group. So the first question is from Jemmy Huang of JPMorgan. Jemmy hopes to know that will we change any of our fiscal year 2020 guidance of our business due to coronavirus.

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [8]

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Well, this virus impact to economy will definitely lead to slower activities across different sectors. But we will see how will this impact will, I mean, persist. If it can be contained, I mean, as early as third quarter, we should see the demand would become more booming because the actual demand still remain intact.

Just like we talked about, this repatriated capital from the overseas market, especially from China, would continue to flush in -- into our home markets to look for new opportunities for investment. And this can be demonstrated from the loan growth figures in January. In our loan book, we actually booked more -- nearly 3.5% loan growth in the first month of this year.

So in that sense, we still have to wait and see how long this virus impact would, I mean, last before we can actually do any further revision, but it is inevitable that if this impact is prolonged for more than 1 or 2 quarters, all the demand would further delay to the second half of this year, and then the whole year's projection may come to a more delayed model, but the genuine demand would not diminish because the demand to further diversify the supply chain or production side would become more impacted after this virus lessen. Okay?

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [9]

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Okay. Another question is about our credit cost and asset quality. How should we view the coronavirus impact? They should -- they are all [hopeless] and may impact our both asset quality and credit cost?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [10]

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Up to now, we have just received quite minimal requests for the so-called payout program, which the borrowers are impacted by the slower demand. But the thing is that if it has paid the -- what we call the rescheduled loan program, including to extend the principal prepayment or to further grace -- we provide further grace period for the repayment of other installment for retail lending. So we predict the imminent impact for the credit cost or asset quality will not surface until later this year. Because most of this payout program would last for at least 3 to 6 months, so it implies -- unless these borrowers really impact service due to the falling revenue or other problem of their cash flow. Otherwise, they would try or continue to service their debit in order to, I mean, catch up the opportunities post the virus impact circumstances.

But I also have to highlight that actually, the government have already implemented certain programs to subsidize these impact sectors, including a lot of this program to help them support their cash flow and their funding needs. So we would not see the impact would be that significant, unless this -- I mean, this plague continues for so long. I mean, for instance, like if it stands for more than a year, then the interruption for the supply chain would be another big issue than this short term -- I mean, the short-term impact of this quarantine issue at Wuhan.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [11]

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Okay. I think that we disclosed some information about our hotel and dining structure on Slide 19 this time to better understand how the exposures related in industry like hotel and dining is about 2.27% of our total exposures in Slide 19. So that we think that what impacted the industry will be hotel and dining so far.

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [12]

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Yes, and I have to particularly highlight that most of this lending are secured by collateral. So we're not that worried about the insolvency of this lending. So they're mostly secured.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [13]

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Okay. Another question is from Ms. [Tina Chien]. [Tina] hopes to know that will we advice amend our fee revenue projection for the next coming quarters due to this coronavirus?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [14]

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Frankly speaking, it's still in a very early stage to do any projection for the -- any targets this year because it's still just for the first month of this virus impact. We have to wait until the end of first quarter before we really have some actual figures that the impact sectors or how it would -- how it will continue to persist in the market.

If we put it into some pro rata basis, if the virus impact issue can be, I mean, controlled after first quarter, then most of the bank will come back in the coming second to fourth quarter. And hopefully, that will generate some demand that help us to roll over to the whole year target.

And talking about the asset quality, up to now, as the -- this payout program are in place to support the impact of the virus, so for the moment, it's still kind of minimal for us. As we just mentioned that we have just over or crossed the peak of our appeal cycle. So we're not that pessimistic about the credit cost issue. Yes.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [15]

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Okay. Another question is about our PL information in the fourth quarter last year of (inaudible) from JPMorgan. What are the industries contributing to the new NPL formation in the fourth quarter? Do we need to tighten the SME lending again?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [16]

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So the NPL influx in the fourth quarter last year was mainly triggered by some single cases like some legacy lending like a [range] and other legacy portfolio. So it was not particularly a significant issue for us.

As you can see that our lending growth for SME sectors resume its growth pattern in the fourth quarter. So we must say that the peak of the delinquent ratio as we offer it now, we're now entering into another cycle, a credit cycle that to accommodate more and more talent business investing in domestic areas of investment, the credit cost issue shouldn't be a headache for us anyway. And we're not particularly tightening our lending on SME. We will screen the quality borrower anyway.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [17]

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Okay. Okay, and there is another question from Liren. And you mentioned about the 2020 guidance. And I think we have entered it, so maybe, Liren, can you hear the replay of this webcast conference?

Okay. Another question from our investors talking about the single case called Powertech energy. Can Annie discuss the things that Powertech energy has claimed bankruptcy today? And what is First Bank's provision to this company? And what are the expected potential loss to this company? Annie?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [18]

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Yes, we had exposure amounted to TWD 1.5 billion. And out of which, about TWD 900 million are secured by collateral, including the factory and the equipment. The unsecured portion is TWD 600 million. That's why we would prefer to set aside up to TWD 600 million provision against this exposure and will wait for further disposition of the collateral before we would fully charge for appeal losses.

So in the first quarter of this year, we would first charge off TWD 600 million for the unsecured portion. In that sense, we would have to further revise up our projection for the credit cost from the original, about 18 to 19 bps, up to 23 to 24 bps, but this is merely based on the scenario that the -- our projection for the asset quality remain intact.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [19]

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All right. Okay. And what's the expected timing for this provision?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [20]

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Supposedly it should be in the first quarter.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [21]

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Okay. So let me repeat again. So our total exposure to Powertech is TWD 1.5 billion. And so far, we have TWD 600 million secured by collateral and another, the remaining TWD 600 million was unsecured. So we expect a potential loss. The most loss for this case would be TWD 600 million, potential loss.

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [22]

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Yes, potential loss and interest.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [23]

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Yes. And we will set aside the provision first. In the first quarter is the syndication bank agree with the debt -- doing the same thing. And can Annie tell us about that -- will -- if this case will impact our credit cost for the year of 2020?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [24]

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Yes. I just briefed that this was added into our projection for the whole year target for our credit cost. It will move the prior projection from 19 bps to 23 or 24 bps -- 19 to 23...

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [25]

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Okay. 19 to 23 or 24 bps?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [26]

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Yes. About 4 to 5 bps.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [27]

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Okay. So 4 to 5 bps. Okay. Another question is about our fee income. Due to the various constraints on our saving policies for our bancassurance, so how do we add on this strategy?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [28]

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We actually have shifted our focus from the sales of bancassurance to mutual fund sales, and it has seen some results, good results in the first month this year. So it implies that the demand for the investment product will become -- will still remain intact. As we have seen in the first month of this year, the fee revenue from mutual fund sales grew by 27% even though the bancassurance business, I mean, become not so [bullish]. So for us, this year, we would particularly deliver decent product to help clients enhance their returns via the introduction of investment products instead of the once very popular bancassurance product anyway. So we would continue to set a target around 7% to 8% growth our wealth management business. As we can see, the loan -- I mean, the deposit growth remains quite strong, up to 10%, which implies the opportunities will continue to service to divert this cash flow to other investment products like mutual fund sales.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [29]

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Okay. So we have other question from Goldman, [Ms. Anna]. [Anna] hopes to know that any guidance for the overseas operations, that this coronavirus may impact in something like that we may understand our expansion or any plan to withdraw the employees or something?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [30]

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Well, up to now, is that our China operations it has some -- I mean, the plan for them to go to the office in terms that in order to avoid any potential impact. The current operation remains normal and follow the regulation for local governments for the 3 China branches and leasing companies, so everything is in -- still in well condition, anyway.

Apart from China, China branches -- our branches in Hong Kong would also follow the regulation to have a so-called -- they do a [test] to the office in order to violate the guidance as the operation still remain -- I mean, normal sense. In other areas like ASEAN countries, the business continues to booming, and the expansion plan to the U.S. will continue and the rate with -- go on our plan to set up our office in Frankfurt to once we get the approval for the regulators. So it implies that our overseas plan would continue, will not be impacted by the virus anyway.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [31]

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Okay. Another question is from [Michael Lan of Cathay Securities]. Michael hopes to know that the fourth quarter's NPL formation, is there any major default happened back here or is -- how much is from rating NPL amount?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [32]

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For (inaudible) NPL, the amount is up to TWD 300 million, but most of which are secured by collateral or guaranteed by the SME guaranteed fund. And the actual loss will be minimized to less than TWD 100 million and the other influx, including smaller business, which is not particularly significant. So this can be viewed as legacy portfolio, and we don't see that will further impact our future business. Yes.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [33]

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Okay. Another question, combining question is about our dividend payout policy this year. So any guidance for our dividend payout from [Anna] and [Gwen] and others. Thank you.

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [34]

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We posted -- I mean, the growth around 11% for last year's results. So we will speak to our policy that to deliver decent cash dividend to support to -- before the long-term shareholders. So the policy to distribute up to 60% payout will be -- would not change, anyway. But the percentage for cash dividends or stock dividend will await for further approval from the Board. But the payout ratio would be at least similar to that in the prior year, up to 60% above payout ratio. 6-0 percent.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [35]

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Okay. 6-0, okay. 6-0 percent for the dividend payout ratio mainly in cash. That's our target.

Another question is about our -- is still the coronavirus-related question. It's about our total exposure in China. Can Annie tell us how much is your exposure in China, the China only, and mainly in -- what kind of -- which industry?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [36]

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Our China exposure has been strategically lower in the prior year, following the slowdown in the China economy. Currently, it is amounted to USD 2.5 billion mostly of -- about -- among the exposure, half of the sites which we'll be lending to, I mean, interbank financing or other investments, which is quite secure.

The total exposure is amounted to just less than 40% of our net worth. So this is not kind of that huge compared to the peak levels that we ever achieved up to more than 65% to 70%. So we had already strategically reduced our exposure to China as we would not see this is a very risky portfolio anyway. USD 2.8 billion.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [37]

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USD 2.8 billion?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [38]

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Yes.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [39]

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Okay. And let's talk about our treasury gains. This question is from [Mr. Chan] from [indiscernible]. Mr. Chan hopes to know that what's our portion in terms of stock and fixed income on our treasury gain. How much is from the capital investment? And how much is from the fixed income investment? And to the major countries?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [40]

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Well, as far as I can recall, the equity investment should be less than 10%, not so significant. Most part of that will be for fixed income and (inaudible) Mostly, we would concentrate on the -- I mean, what we call the customer base business for the hedge transaction of our clients for FX or other funding business like swap. So the equity investment should be less than 10%. And fortunately, last year, we booked quite decent profit from these trading activities. So if things that we are mostly trading on the [tariff] trade instead of the proprietary trading, like the -- like others have performed. So that's why the gains from the treasury business tend to be more stable than other transaction. Less than 10% for equity investments, and the other part will be from fixed income and swap transaction and so on or funding activities.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [41]

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Okay. And another question is from Mr. Jemmy Huang. In terms of the adjusted NIM, can you tell us the adjusted NIM in fiscal year '19 and fiscal -- versus fiscal year '18?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [42]

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Okay. Just a moment. Let me check. The adjusted NIM for last year is 1.09. Yes. 1.09%. And for prior years, it's 1.18%.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [43]

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1.09% and 1.18%?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [44]

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Yes. And I'll say that implies that there was a nice decline for the adjusted NIM.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [45]

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Okay. And another question is from Michael. Michael hopes to know of LDR ratio in the fourth quarter. He found out that the LDR actually down to 74% this quarter. So is there any change of mix? And why is this down so dramatically in the fourth quarter? Is -- or is there any reason behind this situation?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [46]

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The truth is that the deposit growth outpaced the loan growth. Deposit grew by more than 10% to 11% -- 10% to 11%. However, loan growth attributed just 4% something. And that was the major reason that drove down the LDR ratio, that so many liquidity [flock] into our system as we became more aggressive to attract the deposits that will help us to support our lending for mortgage that we would not violate the regulation for banking law, the 30% ceiling for the mortgage lending or the real estate financing.

And so this would be the 2 reasons behind the lower LDR. Higher deposit growth, lower -- I mean, lower loan growth than deposit growth. You know what I mean?

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [47]

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Yes. And we have another follow-up question from Jemmy. That is about the Powertech. His question is, if we only set aside the TWD 100 million for Powertech energy, which will be only less than 5 to -- 5 -- 4 to 5 bps for the fiscal year 2020, if we said increased 4 to 5 bps in this year, which will amount to 700 to 900 (inaudible). Okay?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [48]

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Okay, Jemmy, that was mainly because the loan growth projection is different from this credit cost and also the -- so far the recovery, the recovery projection.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [49]

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Okay. So if we add loan growth to 7% to 8%...

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [50]

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Of lower loan growth.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [51]

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Okay.

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [52]

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Yes.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [53]

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Oh, then actually, this calculation is based on a lower base loan growth?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [54]

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Yes. Yes, yes.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [55]

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Obvious -- so that's the worse scenario. Okay, I see. And let's talk about our CI ratio target in 2020.

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [56]

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Our CI ratio target, which remains around 45%, unchanged.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [57]

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Okay. Another question and we are going to wrap up today. For our last question, I'd like to repeat the 2020 guidance because we have some investors that are coming in right now, and they want us to repeat the 2020 guidance. Can Annie give us the 2020 guidance again?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [58]

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Sure, no problem. Loan growth for year 2020 will be 7% to 8% mainly driven by SME, mortgage and the FX lending, which represent about 6% -- represents about 6%, 8% and 12% respectively: SME, 6% growth; mortgage, 8% growth; FX, 11% to 12%.

For the NIM projection, we project around 1.02%, which is slightly lower than that of 2019 at around 1.06%, 4 bps lower.

For the fee revenues, we are targeting 8% something, mainly contributed by wealth management up to 7% to 8%; FX-related, 12% to 30%; loan-related, 7% to 8%.

And in terms of the treasury business, we are targeting a 10% growth after we posted the 21% high growth in 2019.

When we turn to costs, our operating costs will continue to grow by around 6% so that would move to a cost/income ratio up to 45%.

And as for the net credit cost, I just revised up to 23 bps something where we incorporate the newly influx Powertech appeal. Okay?

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [59]

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Okay. So here comes the last question. It's about our banking at 72.2 -- the ceiling of 30% of mortgage lending class, debt lending.

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [60]

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Currently, we're still sustained at around 28%.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [61]

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20? On the 28%?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [62]

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Yes. Around 28%, so we have room to grow.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [63]

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Okay. Here comes all of our questions today, and we're going to wrap up, and we hope that you enjoyed today's webcast investor conference. Annie, would you like to say something to everyone?

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [64]

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Okay. In the end, I will -- I will hope that every one of you have a safe and sound flight and take care of yourself. Let us meet to next quarter.

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K. C. Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [65]

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Okay, take care. Bye-bye.

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Annie Lee, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Head & Head of Strategy Planning Department [66]

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Bye.

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Keith Ke, First Financial Holding Co., Ltd. - IR Professional [67]

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Bye.