BDO approaching 2019 with cautious optimism
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - December 7, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — BDO Unibank Inc. is approaching the coming year with cautious optimism amid the volatile global and domestic financial markets this year.

Nestor Tan, president and chief executive officer of BDO, said the country’s largest bank is facing 2019 with optimism.

“There is just so much change and so much volatility that it is very difficult to be in. And frankly from where we sit, it is not an easy situation to be in. There is no sense of calm that you can really say is around us or that you can really say we know where we are going,” he said.

Tan said BDO is grateful that 2018 is coming to a close.

“We feel that we are just glad that 2018 is coming to a close. We don’t know what 2019 will bring, but let me share with you some words of wisdom. With the 2018 we had, 2019 I don’t think could be much worse,” he added.

He said 2019 would be a lighter year compared to 2018.

“So it is either one of two things, it gets better or we get used to it. So either way it is going to feel lighter. So let us keep that in mind and look at 2019 with optimism,” Tan said.

Inflation finally eased for the first time this year to hit a four-month low of six percent in November from a near-decade high of 6.7 percent in October.

However, the consumer price index (CPI) averaged 5.2 percent from January to November and exceeded by the two to four percent inflation target set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The BSP jacked up benchmark rates by 175 basis points in five straight rate-setting meetings since May this year to rein in inflationary expectations.

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