EastWest Bank net in­come grows at end- Septem­ber

Business World - - BANKING&FINANCE - Karl An­gelo N. Vi­dal

EAST WEST Bank­ing Corp. (EastWest Bank) saw a steep in­crease in its net in­come in the first nine months of the year, driven by growth across all its busi­nesses.

In a state­ment re­leased to the lo­cal bourse on Thurs­day, the Go­tia­nun- led EastWest Bank re­ported that it booked a P3.75bil­lion net in­come for the Jan­uary to Septem­ber pe­riod, a 60% jump from the P2.33 bil­lion recorded in the same months a year ago.

Ex­clud­ing trad­ing gains, EastWest Bank’s net in­ter­est in­come climbed 22%, while its earn­ings from fee-based busi­nesses grew 30%.

The bank’s lend­ing book grew 18% to P216.3 bil­lion. Con­sumer loans grew 29% — mak­ing up 72% of EastWest bank’s port­fo­lio — led by the bank’s auto loans busi­ness.

Mean­while, to­tal de­posits rose 19% to P257.1 bil­lion, with low­cost de­posits grow­ing 23%.

On the other hand, the bank’s non- in­ter­est earn­ings rose 5% year on year, pulled down by a 70% de­crease in prof­its from se­cu­ri­ties trad­ing.

Op­er­at­ing ex­penses climbed 16% to P9.9 bil­lion.

The bank’s as­sets climbed 17% to P314.9 bil­lion, which it at­trib­uted to the con­tin­ued ex­pan­sion of its lend­ing book.

EastWest Bank Pres­i­dent Je­sus Roberto S. Reyes said: “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 (non-per­form­ing loans) loan loss cov­er­age sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved.”

“Our third quar­ter re­sults prove that we are on the right track… 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,” Mr. Reyes added.

The bank’s nine- month per­for­mance re­sulted in a re­turn on eq­uity or 13.8%, while re­turn on as­sets stood at 1.7%.

It also puts the bank on track to meet its 2017 in­come guid­ance.

“We are on track to end 2017 with a net in­come of P4.8 bil­lion, or 41% higher ver­sus the P3.4 bil­lion booked in 2016,” said EastWest Bank chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer An­to­nio C. Mon­cupa, Jr.

EastWest Bank has 446 branches na­tion­wide. Shares in EastWest Bank closed at P32.20 apiece on Thurs­day, up by 40 cen­tavos or 1.26% from Wed­nes­day’s fin­ish of P31.80 each. •

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