November 09, 2017 at 09:20 pm
Julito G. Rada
EAST West Banking Corp., the banking unit of the Filinvest Group, registered a net income of P3.75 billion in the first nine months of 2017, up 60 percent year-on-year, on the strength of core businesses.
The bank said in a disclosure to the stock exchange Thursday the January-to-September performance kept the 60-percent expansion in the first half of 2017, adding it was on track to meet the net income guidance of P4.8 billion for the whole year.
“We are happy to note that our higher income is mainly due to improving productivity and lower loan loss provisions. These two items more than offset the much lower trading revenues and the substantial increase in taxes even as our NPL loan loss coverage significantly improved,” bank president Jesus Roberto Reyes said in a statement.
The bank maintained its industry-leading net interest margin of 7.8 percent. Recurring earnings grew 24 percent to P18.0 billion as net interest income and fee-based income, excluding trading gains rose 22 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
Total non-interest income increased 5 percent year-on-year, tempered by the 70-percent dip in profits from securities trading. Net revenues reached P18.4 billion, 17 percent higher year-on-year.
Operating expenses stood at P9.9 billion, and increased at a slightly slower pace of 16 percent.
Total assets grew 17 percent to P314.9 billion driven by the growth in the bank’s loan portfolio. Total loans increased 18 percent to P216.3 billion. Consumer loans, which expanded 29 percent, accounted for 72 percent of total loans.
Total deposits rose 19 percent to P257.1 billion, while low-cost deposits grew 23 percent.
“Our third-quarter results prove that we are on the right track. EastWest is a true retail bank whose strength lies in its core operations,” Reyes said.
“As we had projected, we are enjoying the early fruits of our store network expansion which enabled us to generate more deposits, which in turn allowed us to fund more loans and enhance our profitability,” Reyes said. EastWest Bank has 446 stores nationwide.
East West reported a return on equity of 13.8 percent and a return on assets of 1.7 percent as of end-September.