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Shinhan Financial outsmarts rivals in profits, assets

Shinhan Financial Group was by far the top earner among the country’s seven bank holding companies last year, while NH Financial Group was the only one in the red.

According to data compiled and released Wednesday by the Financial Supervisory Service, Shinhan’s net profits came in at 2.41 trillion won ($2.08 billion) in 2015, far exceeding the figure of runner-up KB Financial Group. KB logged net income of 1.7 trillion won, followed by Hana Financial Group at 897 billion won. 


Shinhan also led the pact as the largest financial holding firm by asset.

Its total consolidated asset stood at 370.5 trillion won, followed by NH at 339.8 trillion won, KB at 329.1 trillion won and Hana at 326.9 trillion won.

The aggregate earnings of the seven companies -- Shinhan, NH, KB, Hana, BNK Financial, JB Financial and DGB Financial -- fell 12.3 percent from the previous year. The total shrank by 788 billion won to 5.59 trillion won. NH Financial swung to a net loss of 62 billion won in 2015 after setting aside 460 billion won in bad-loan provisions.

“The decrease is attributable to base effect, since the 2014 profits were buoyed by one-off factors such as bargain purchase gains related to acquisition of shares in new subsidiaries,” the FSS explained in the press release.

If proceeds from such one-off investment gains were excluded, the combined income of the seven groups would be about 500 billion won higher than the previous year’s level, the regulator added.

BNK and JB, which in 2014 bought provincial lenders Kyongnam Bank and Kwangju Bank respectively, reported profit drops of 49.1 percent and 87.6 percent.

The combined assets of the seven grew 3.2 percent to 1,547.6 trillion won. DGB Financial Group, which runs Daegu Bank, saw the sharpest gain of 24.6 percent, thanks to its takeover of Woori Aviva Life Insurance last year.

The average ratio of nonperforming loans changed little, from 1.36 percent of total loans in 2014 to 1.35 percent in 2015.

Among nonbank financial holding companies, Meritz Financial Group was the largest, having grown its asset by 19.4 percent to 32 trillion won in 2015.

Korea Investment Holdings came second with 31.5 trillion won in assets, which was up 24.5 percent from the previous year.

By Lee Sun-young (milaya@heraldcorp.com)
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