Three Biggest Philippine Banks Earn US$1 billion

Three of the largest banks in the Philippines earned a combined profit of US$1 billion in the first half of 2013, a milestone in the local financial industry, amid the sustained expansion of the economy.

Financial reports from the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., BDO Unibank Inc. and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) show that the three banks booked a total profit of PhP44.2 billion in the January-June period, up by 96 percent from PhP22.6 billion they earned during the same period last year.

Metrobank, the second largest bank, said its net income in the first half surged 145 percent to PhP18.1 billion from PhP7.4 billion a year ago, on steady growth in core revenues.  It said the first-half profit also exceeded the bank’s full-year 2012 income of PhP15.4 billion.

Operating income expanded by PhP16.6 billion to reach PhP45.9 billion, on the back of a 13-percent rise in net interest income to PhP17.3 billion coupled with a PhP14.7-billion increase in non-interest income to PhP28.6 billion.

“Metrobank sustained its momentum with year-on-year loan growth of 16 percent to close the period at PhP545.8 billion. Credit demand was consistent across all sectors, with the consumer segment leading the growth,” it said.

Metrobank said it ended the first semester with PhP1.2 trillion in consolidated assets and PhP135.6 billion in equity. Total capital adequacy ratio remained well above the regulatory limit at 18.1 percent.

BDO, the largest bank, said its first-half net income more than doubled on the strength of all business segments.  Net earnings from January to June reached a record PhP14.1 billion, up 143 percent from PhP5.8 billion a year earlier.

Gross customer loans rose 12 percent to PhP806.6 billion while total deposits breached the PhP1 trillion mark, growing by 17 percent to PhP1.02 trillion on the sustained increase in low-cost deposits.

BPI saw its net income rise 27 percent to PhP12 billion in the six-month period from PhP9.4 billion in the same period last year.  Total revenues climbed 14 percent.

"BPI's financial results for the first half of the year are strong. The growth in our loan book is well balanced and funded by a deposit base that is low cost and growing," BPI president Cezar consing said.

The bank's loan portfolio expanded 17 percent from a year ago, as corporate loans rose 18 percent and consumer loans grew 15 percent.

Meanwhile, another bank reported robust earnings in the first half.  Union Bank of the Philippines, the banking arm of the Aboitiz Group, earned PhP6.2 billion in the first half, up by 52 percent from PhP4.07 billion during the same period last year.

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