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Chinatrust says mulls additional bad debt provisions
TAIPEI Oct 31 (Reuters) - Chinatrust Financial, Taiwan's biggest credit card issuer, said on Wednesday that it is considering setting aside up to T$6.8 billion ($230 million) in provisions against bad loans in response to a regulatory request.
The company can either take a single provision this year or spread it over four years starting this year, President Daniel Wu told a media briefing.
"The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) is talking to every bank about putting more aside," Wu said, adding Chinatrust has not decided which timeframe to go with.
Chinatrust and local peers are under pressure from increasing bad loans as the island's export-driven economy suffers from a global slowdown.
The government cut its 2012 growth forecast for a ninth time in just over a year on Wednesday as Europe's ongoing woes, concerns over the U.S. economy and China's slowdown kept third-quarter growth below forecasts, but bright spots indicate the economy may have bottomed out.
Nine-month net profit at Chinatrust was T$15.5 billion, the company said earlier this month, without giving a year-ago comparison.
Its bad debt provision was T$294 million from January to September versus T$643 million in the same period a year earlier.
On Wednesday, Chinatrust stock ended flat, beating a 0.23 percent slide of the broader market. (Reporting by Faith Hung; editing by Jonathan Standing)
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