Earnings of big banks climb 8% to P77.3 billion in first half of 2018
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - August 9, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Profits of big banks climbed by nearly eight percent in the first half due to higher interest and non-interest earnings, according to preliminary data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Profits of universal and commercial banks reached P77.36 billion from January to June, or P5.52 billion higher than the P71.84 billion recorded in the same period last year.

The BSP said the operating income of big banks recorded a double-digit growth of 18 percent to P273.63 billion from P232.1 billion as net interest income went up by almost 15 percent to P202.49 billion from P176.19 billion.

On the other hand, non-interest income of big banks jumped by more than 27 percent to P71.13 billion in the first semester from P55.91 billion in the same period last year due to higher earnings from trading as well as fees and commissions.

The industry’s earnings from fees and commission rose by 10.6 percent to P37.89 billion from P34.26 billion, while trading income jumped by nearly 80 percent to P25.87 billion from P14.38 billion.

Due to the volatile equities and financial markets, banks incurred losses amounting to P3.29 billion from the sale or redemption of securities, a complete reversal of the P14.38 billion gains recorded last year.

Gains from foreign exchange transactions plunged to P54.82 million from P9.52 billion, while foreign exchange profit fell by 24 percent to P2.78 billion from P3.66 billion.

The BSP has allowed the moderate and gradual weakening of the peso against the dollar due to the strong demand for the greenback to finance the country’s expanding economy.

Non-interest expenses of big banks rose by almost 17 percent to P174.51 billion in the first semester from P149.29 billion in the same period last year.

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