Metrobank sees sustained loan growth in H2

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Lawrence Agcaoili – The Filipino Star

September 5, 2022 | 00:00

MANILA, Philippines — Ty’s Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) is confident it can sustain credit growth despite a series of interest rate hikes by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Minda Claver Olonan, senior vice president and head of investor relations at Metrobank, said in an interview with reporters during a tour of the bank’s 60th anniversary exhibit that there had been a revival of loan growth in the first half.

“We continue to see growth in demand from the corporate sector, particularly confidence in the retail and manufacturing sectors. Obviously they’re building up their inventory, so there’s a demand for working capital,” Olonan said.

Olonan said the bank has yet to feel the impact of the BSP’s decision to raise interest rates by 175 basis points since May.

“Of course, this is something we are monitoring closely. We are monitoring the potential impact on demand, as well as the potential impact on asset quality. But we haven’t seen a significant impact,” Olonan said.

In the first half of the year, Metrobank’s loan portfolio grew 9% to 1.3 trillion pesos, fueled by 12% growth in business and corporate loans and a 16% increase in gross credit card receivables .

Similarly, allowance for credit and impairment losses plunged 45.6% to 3.82 billion pesos from 7.03 billion pesos, resulting in a large buffer of 196% to protect the bank against market risks.

Olonan believes the non-performing loan ratio has already peaked after improving to 1.9% in the first half from 2.3% a year ago.

“We expect the trends we saw in the second quarter to continue,” Olonan said.

Metrobank’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Digs Dimagiba, said the listed bank continues to launch promotions to ease the burden of higher interest rates and entice consumers to borrow.

“Hopefully consumers and customers will continue to be more active and open. We’re not out of the woods on these things yet. Right now the demand is there and people are responding well to that,” Dimagiba said.

In the first half, the bank’s profits jumped 33.3 percent to 15.59 billion pesos from 11.69 billion pesos in the same period last year.

In the second quarter alone, Metrobank’s net income nearly doubled after jumping 94.5% to P7.6 billion from P3.91 billion in the same quarter last year.

Metrobank’s assets amounted to 2.7 trillion pesos, while total equity stood at 303.4 billion pesos. Its balance sheet remains strong with a capital adequacy ratio at 17.6% and Common Equity Tier 1 capital at 16.8%, both above the BSP’s minimum requirement.

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