Average postal deposits rise 2.5% at end-September

The average deposit balance per post office account as of the end of September rose about 2.5 percent from a year earlier, indicating stable growth in postal deposits in Taiwan, state-owned Chunghwa Post Co. (????) said on Friday.

As of the end of September, the average deposit balance at Chunghwa Post was NT169,000 (US$5,314), up from NT$165,000 over the same period last year, Chunghwa Post data showed. The 2016 figure was about NT$25,000 higher than the NT$144,000 recorded in 2011, the statistics indicated.

The average deposit balance in 2012 was NT$150,000, rising to NT$153,000 in 2013, and has continued to increase.

In Taiwan, post offices not only provide a broad mail delivery network but also serve as bank-like institutions accepting deposits, extending loans, remitting funds and even selling insurance policies.

According to Chunghwa Post, the balance of total deposits in the local postal system was NT$6 trillion as of the end of September, compared with the NT$3.86 trillion held by Bank of Taiwan (??), the largest bank in the country.

The use of Chunghwa Post's huge deposits is strictly regulated by the Postal Act and other regulations, which stipulate that a large part of its deposits must be deposited with the central bank or other financial institutions, the company said.

Chunghwa Post has also used part of its deposits to buy government bonds, corporate bonds, financial bonds and commercial bills for investment returns, while it has used some of the money to invest in the equity market or provide funds for interbank lending.

The government has also used the large deposits at Chunghwa Post for public work projects or private investment projects.

According to Chungwa Post, the company is the largest institutional investor in Taiwan after pouring about NT$150 billion into the local equity market.

Chunghwa Post has said that it owns a more than 1 percent stake in 30-40 listed companies and as much as 6 percent in some firms, making it one of the top 10 to 20 shareholders in those companies.

As a result of its equity investments, Chunghwa Post receives about NT$7 billion in cash dividends per annum, the company said.

Ong Wen-chyi (???), chairman of Chunghwa Post, said at the annual Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) conference, which was held from Nov. 15-16, that as the largest institutional investor in Taiwan the company invests in stocks with a focus on corporate governance.

Ong said the companies in which Chunghwa Post owns shares are also expected to be socially responsible, particularly in the area of environmental protection.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel