Taipei--Taiwan financial holding companies' exposure to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) grew by more than NT$100 billion (US$3.29 billion) in the year since June 2016, according statistics released Saturday by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC).
The hike resulted largely from increased lending by banks and higher investments by financial companies in ASEAN members states, the FSC said.
The data for 16 Taiwanese financial holding companies showed a total exposure of NT$887.51 billion as of the end of June, an increase of NT$102.78 billion from the same time last year.
The figure at the end of June was NT$16.41 billion higher than at the end of March, the data showed.
According to market analysts, the increased financial exposure reflected the companies' response to the Taiwan government's New Southbound Policy, which is aimed at forging closer economic ties with the 10 ASEAN members, countries in South Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
The policy was initiated by the Democratic Progressive Party, which took office in May 2016, as part of its efforts to reduce economic dependence on China.
According the FSC data, investments in ASEAN states showed a NT$47.06 billion increase over the one-year period from the end of June last year, while lending grew by NT$48.87 billion.
In Singapore, the exposure of the 16 Taiwanese financial companies totaled NT$236.78 billion, the highest among the 10 ASEAN countries, the FSC said.
Indonesia was in second place with NT$198.58 billion, and Vietnam third with NT$144.14 billion, the FSC said.
In terms of the increase in exposure in the 10 countries, however, the highest amount was in Indonesia, which was NT$42.76 billion over the one-year period, while in Vietnam it was the second highest at NT$34.11 billion, the FSC said.
In third and fourth places were Singapore and Cambodia, with increases of NT$19.15 billion and NT$16.07 billion, respectively.
As of the end of June 2017, the financial exposure of the 16 Taiwan companies to foreign countries or regions totaled NT$13.92 trillion, compared with NT$12.87 trillion at the same time last year, the FSC said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel