Fubon, CTBC Reports $721M, $309M Profit In January
It is the CPBL offseason, and there is not much actual baseball news lately. So, we might as well try something new and cover each team’s parent company. Because after all, they provide the annual operational funding to their baseball team in the CPBL.
We will begin with the Fubon Guardians and the CTBC Brothers’ parent companies, Fubon Financial and CTBC Financial.
On February 9, several Taiwanese financial institutes announced their earnings for January 2021. Both Fubon Financial and CTBC Financial posted a record-breaking January performance during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to UDN, Fubon recorded an after-tax profit of 721 million USD. Meanwhile, CTBC closed the month with $309 million in profit. The bulk of both groups’ January profit came from their subsidiaries, Fubon Life Insurance ($563 million) and Taiwan Life Insurance ($186 million).
Uni-President Reports $15.9B Revenue in 2020.
It is positive news for the Uni-Lions’ parent company, the Uni-President Enterprises. While there is no report on their January 2021 earnings, on February 7, the group revealed their performance for the year 2020.
According to the UDN, the Uni-President Enterprises reported a 15.9 billion USD revenue in 2020. One of their top-performing subsidiary 7-Eleven posted a 9.2 billion revenue. Last year, the Uni-President opened an additional 345 7-Eleven, bringing the total number of stores in Taiwan to over 6000.
Rakuten Suffers $1.1B Loss in 2020
For Rakuten Monkeys’ parent company, Rakuten Inc, things are not looking good on the surface. According to Nikkei Asia on February 12, Rakuten suffered a net loss of 1.1 billion USD in 2020.
When looking deeper into this, the loss is mostly due to Rakuten’s heavy upfront investment in Japan’s telecom industry. The company recently launched its 5G service and the plans to expand its existing network coverage.
Here’s a recent signing Asian baseball fans might find interesting. Former Detroit Tigers infielder Dawel Lugo signed a 2021 contract to play for the expansion Mariachis de Guadelajara in the Mexican League. Lugo has 400 MLB plate appearances and has only just turned age 26. I would guess that the Mariachis got a salary waiver to pay Lugo more than the LMB maximum of $10,000 per month. If so, that would mean that Lugo could be earning $20,000 to $25,000 a month to play in Mexico, which is comparable to the CPBL.
It’s unclear why Lugo did not sign with an MLB organization to play at the AAA level. He looks like he can play major league defense at 3B, although he hasn’t shown that he can hit like a major league 3Bman. His 2B defense rates as very poor.
I bet that if KBO and CPBL teams had known that he would be forced to sign with a Mexican League team back in December, he would have generated some serious interest. Of course, Lugo probably didn’t know that either back in December.
Perhaps he would be a decent target for a KBO team but I would think that Carlos Asuaje is a cautionary tale in that respect and Asuaje had shown better plate discipline. Whereas Andy Burns had shown more power but had better plate discipline too. I would say that Burns is more likely of a target for a KBO if they’re interested in having Burns back on a KBO team’s roster.
I like Andy Burns, but it doesn’t look like he played in any championship game action in 2020. KBO teams aren’t particularly willing when it comes to players over age 30.
Lugo might have appealed to the Kiwoom Heroes. He was obviously in their preferred price range.